In the months since my diagnosis I have found solace in groups with people fighting the same brutal disease. There is a bond you develop as you fight this demon together. Nothing hurts more than seeing the post that says ‘Jane passed away last night,’ or ‘I read in another group that Jillian died yesterday.’
I feel so incredibly blessed to be in as good health as I am today. To look back at how far I have come, it is genuinely a miracle. As good as I feel, there is a sense of survivor’s guilt every time I read that someone else has lost their fight. My heart hurts whenever I lose someone I have grown to know.
Each day I feel a deeper desire to advocate for others fighting metastatic breast cancer, those who have become so sick they can’t fight themselves. I feel like I have a purpose, even if that purpose is to bring attention to what metastatic breast cancer really is. As a nurse one of my responsibilities is to educate my patients. As a metastatic breast cancer thriver I feel one of my responsibilities is to help educate people about a little known disease.
Metastatic breast cancer is treatable but not curable. It strikes anyone, whether an early stage breast cancer survivor or someone who has never previously had breast cancer at all. Stage IV breast cancer sucks.
Knowledge is power. Take the time to learn about the MBC thrivers. We matter too!
Dx 10/9/2018, invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), left breast, 1.5cm, Nottingham Grade 6, hormone receptor positive, ER+ (estrogen receptor)/PR+ (progesterone receptor), HER2- (human epidermal growth factor), BRACA- (genetic mutation), Stage IV, metastasized to bones
First CA 27.29 10/9/2018 83 (goal <38)
Hormonal Therapy 10/12/2018 Tamoxifen (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) pills
Targeted Therapy 10/12/2018 Xgeva (Denosumab) injection
Hormonal Therapy 10/19/2018 Lupron Depot (Leuprolide Acetate) injection
Surgery 11/29/2018 Vaginal hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy
First CA 27.29 post hysterectomy 12/10/2018 73 (goal <38)
Hormonal Therapy 12/11/2018 Femara (letrozole) pills
Targeted Therapy 12/23/2018 Ibrance (palbociclib) capsules
First CA 27.29 post medication change 1/10/2019 60 (goal <38)