"I want this for my dear metasisters and brothers too - a little more time."

On October 18, I will have been fighting MBC for 5 years.

I was originally diagnosed with early stage cancer back in 2002. My oncologist told me I was ‘cured’ at 5 years post-treatment; after 9 years it spread to my bones, and now it’s also in my liver. I have had diminished quality of life in the last year as I fight back with several failed regimens. I am now on a treatment that appears to be killing the cancer, but it’s hard chemo, I struggle with extreme fatigue and stomach issues. It’s hard to stay positive while in the ‘valley’, but I’m hopeful that I’ll be feeling better soon.

I’ve had to switch oncologists twice because in each case, we hit a point where the doctor was not listening and discounting my symptoms and my inner voice that told me the cancer was on the move. I love my current team and I feel that my oncologist listens to me. I need partnership in my treatment – it’s the only way that it will work for me.

I do not have any genetic predisposition to breast cancer, nor do I have a particular factor that I could point to for having this disease. I did everything right – had my children at the right age, breastfed them, started having mammograms at age 35. My cancer was still missed until a doctor picked up a lump under her fingers during a routine female exam. She likely saved my life, as the tumor was large and deeply hidden near the chest wall.

I, like many others, was aware of breast cancer and followed the recommendations to stay on top of it. Despite this, I am still metastatic. We desperately need funding to go toward battling this disease, once we have it. We need our hope renewed. I need to stop having to say goodbye to so many sweet metasisters. We have lost so many, and it makes it hard to get close – but we need each other. No one can understand what it’s like to have a death sentence coloring your days, every day – and watching the loss of abilities, appetites, and relationships….it’s very hard.