"I feel the best way to live with this disease is to try to do the things that you're passionate about while you can."
This year, I reached a milestone I honestly didn’t think I’d reach. The median lifespan of someone with Metastatic Breast Cancer is about 36 months. On August 28th, I reached my 36 months living with Metastatic Breast Cancer.
The beginning of my treatment for metastatic breast cancer was very rough for me. I’ve had a very difficult time with side effects associated with Hormone blockers. I gained a significant amount of weight and bone and joint pain made it very difficult getting around, not to mention the constant fatigue. I’ve gone through radiation twice for bone metastasis, had my ovaries/tubes removed, partial mastectomy and lumpectomy and due to a few scares, additional biopsies.
I’m now on my 4th line of treatment and although I’m feeling significantly better than I was 3 yrs ago, I’m not having GI issues that no one can figure out. I’ve lost all the weight I’ve put on and then some, I’m living on anti-nausea meds and I have a love-hate relationship with food right now. After months of complaining of not feeling well and my Doc’s seeing the weight loss, they are finally admitting there is something wrong after blood work showed my weight loss is causing me to be malnourished which isn’t typical when done right.
All I have every wanted since being diagnosed De Novo is to see my son Adam graduate High School. That happens in June of 2017. I’m almost there!! Once I get there I will re-set my goal to the date when he graduates College. All of my “goal” dates revolve around Adam. He is why I will continue to do whatever I need to stick around as long as I can. I want to see him graduate from Medical School and become a Doctor and I want to see how his life unfolds.
[tr-shareit text=”I feel the best way to live with this disease is to try to do the things that you’re passionate about while you can, the things that keep that fire inside you lit.” sites=”twitter,facebook,google” align=”center”]I feel the best way to live with this disease is to try to do the things that you’re passionate about while you can, the things that keep that fire inside you lit.[/tr-shareit]
In the mean time, I advocate for Metastatic Research Funding and support those organizations that do that, like The Cancer Couch Foundation and Metavivor. I am also one of the Editors of The Underbelly, a new digital magazine that highlights the realities of life during and after breast cancer. The Underbelly is creating a community that is challenging expectations, while embracing and giving voice to the authentic, vulnerable realities of life during and after breast cancer. We are uncovering the harsh truths of the things we didn’t expect – how our bodies, relationships, friendships, finances, and mental health changed in ways no one prepared us for. We are having frank conversations about these issues and more, so that other patients going through breast cancer have a safe landing place. A place to feel at home – understood, connected, part of something larger. A place where they can learn about the issues they might face that no one else can prepare them for. No one prepares us to survive. We’re here to help others find their way. The best part of The Underbelly is that we welcome and encourage others to contribute and write for us – to share their stories – what ever they are and we will also be giving back to 6 Non-Profits that we each hold dear (METAvivor, MET UP, Pink Fund, Male Breast Cancer Coalition, Beauty for Ashes and The Cancer Couch Foundation).
Personally, I feel the best way to live with this disease is to try to do the things that you’re passionate about while you can, the things that keep that fire inside you lit, regardless of how others interpret those passions and make all the memories you can with your family on the good days.
Here’s to many, many more good days!