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Notes for Those Newly Diagnosed With Metastatic Breast Cancer

Learning you have metastatic breast cancer can unleash a tsunami of emotions. Fear, panic, anxiety and anger are just a smattering of common responses. How can you deal with these feelings?
LBBCGuideLiving Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) and MBCN have worked together to produce a  Guide for the Newly Diagnosed. See http://www.lbbc.org/get-support/print/guides-to-understanding/metastatic-breast-cancer-series-guide-newly-diagnosed
Talk to your oncologist--he or she may prescribe Ativan or other anti anxiety medications. Many treatment centers also have counselors on staff who specialize in helping those dealing with a cancer diagnosis. Ask if your center has a support group for metastatic breast cancer patients. Your oncologist also may be able to connect you with someone dealing with a similar diagnosis. Oncologists–like all medical professionals–must respect privacy laws.
If your doctor can’t suggest a local contact, you can reach out to a peer matching program and/or metastatic breast cancer hotline.
Here are several to check out:
SHARE hotline and phone support groups: http://www.sharecancersupport.org/share-new/support/groups/#metastatic

Living Beyond Breast Cancer helpline and other resources: http://www.lbbc.org/node/1578
Young Survival Coalition SurvivorLink is here: https://www.youngsurvival.org/survivorlink
Support Connection provides emotional, social and educational support here: http://supportconnection.org/contact-us-for-support/
BreastCancer.org has excellent information as well as  a dedicated Stage IV discussion forum. Here you will find others with MBC  https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/8
BCMets was among the first online forums for people living  with metastatic breast cancer:https://www.bcmets.org
Inspire.com hosts an Advanced Breast Cancer board: https://www.inspire.com/groups/advanced-breast-cancer/
Most people are familiar with early-stage breast cancer. Just what is metastatic breast cancer? Here is a concise overview:

How do you find an oncologist? You can ask your primary care doctor for a referral. Also: consider working with an NCI designated cancer center. Here  is a list: http://www.cancer.gov/research/nci-role/cancer-centers/find

Receiving the NCI-designation places cancer centers among the top 4 percent of the approximately 1500 cancer centers in the United States. More here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NCI-designated_Cancer_Center


Finally, we urge both the newly diagnosed and “veteran” patients to watch

Dr. Don Dizon’s EXCELLENT presentation from MBCN’s 2013 national conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RKCGEpk2po
Dr. Dizon’s PRO approach (Pragamatic, Realistic and Optimistic) resonates with patients. Hopefully after watching this video you will feel informed, uplifted and empowered!