We all have a story to tell and we can be inspired in writing the story and in reading others' stories.
Polly: It Takes a Community
On April 1st, 2010, at the age of 50, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, and it was no April Fool's joke. Just weeks after my annual mammogram and breast exam proved normal, I detected a lump and an ultrasound identified two very large tumors and five affected lymph nodes. The cancer had already spread throughout my liver with over twenty lesions, making it Stage 4.
As the mother of two boys, a daughter and son-in-law, and a wife I was grief-stricken. My husband tragically lost his previous wife to a brain tumor when our eldest son was just seven months old. How could… » Read More
Sandra: A Mother's Story
I was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer with bone metastasis in January 2011. At that time, I was a working mom of two small children (14 months and 4 years old) struggling to get tenure at my university. I was recently asked to comment on how cancer has affected me as a mother.
I am sure that I have gone through many of the same stages that anyone diagnosed with cancer has, including denial, anger, grief, acceptance, etc. I really can't say if my response to those stages is any different than every other woman diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. I do know that… » Read More
Barb: Learning and Living
Metastatic breast cancer? I had never heard the term before my diagnosis in 2011. The first diagnosis I received seemed to suggest an early stage breast cancer. I quickly came to terms with having breast cancer (bc) and I believed the common misconception that I would have a mastectomy and all would be good. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
Less than a month later a scan would show that the cancer had spread to my liver and that there were multiple lesions. That is when I quickly learned what the word metastatic meant. I learned a LOT in a hurry.
Jen: "Learning to Live Legendary"
"I can't have breast cancer, I don't even have a cavity!" was my initial thought. Not that they go together, of course, but I was 30 years young, nursing my 8 month old baby when I found the lump.
After the diagnosis settled in, I was determined to get through the year. My "to-do list" included a lumpectomy, 6 months of chemo, and 7 weeks of daily radiation. I thought then breast cancer would be behind me. Just 3 months after radiation, a scan showed a recurrence in the breast. Another scan showed several lesions in my bones.
I was 31 and… » Read More
Caryn: We Do What We Do
Caryn, one of our new volunteers, is not trying to be a superwoman. She's just living her life the best way she can, coping with her metastatic diagnosis and moving forward. In her own words....
I have been battling this disease for a long time. It has been so long that I seem to have lost track of time! My oncologist and I went back through my files, which by now you need real muscles to pick up, because I was rather curious to see exactly when I was first diagnosed. I was initially diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer almost 15 years ago, at the age of 38. I had… » Read More
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