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.
Google became my go-to resource. Bad idea! It really freaked me out when I read all of the stats. Once I was able to find some reliable sites, I was able to get my head around what metastatic bc is. I've learned how it would be something that I would be living and dealing with for the rest of my life. I've learned that chemo followed by radiation is not always the first and/or only treatment path. I've learned that bc is very sneaky and can learn to outsmart one treatment after another, causing a lifetime of uncertainty for those with mets. I've learned that no two breast cancers are the same. I've learned that mbc is likely to kill me eventually.
For now, I am responding well to a combination treatment. Originally there were 8 measureable lesions on the liver; now there are only 4! There are no new signs of mets anywhere else. I continue to enjoy my life, my family, and my friends.
My recent participation in a Relay for Life allowed me the platform to begin my quest to "get noisy" about mbc and share what I have learned (and continue to learn). At our booth, we had pamphlets available with information on mbc and we donned our MBCN t-shirts.
Every day I wake up remembering that I have mbc. That will never change. What I am hoping to help change is the general misconceptions that are floating around the "world of pink". I want to help change the fact that mbc is not curable. I want to be a part (if even a small part) of helping to find a cure.
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