Did you know approximately 30% of early stage breast cancer survivors will have a recurrence as metastatic disease, even after completing successful treatment?
4 years and 5 months ago I was fighting to finish my brutal chemo infusions. I was only weeks away from completion. All while mothering a one year old and three year old. My marriage was thrown this Everest of an obstacle only 6 years in. We were building our life together, now it felt like it was all falling apart.
But we had hope. We were doing all the right things. We listened to what the doctors said, we followed their orders.
In the back of my head I always feared cancer would return.
People would say, “you beat it!” “You are cancer free!” “You are in remission!” And I would cringe inside, knowing once you are diagnosed with breast cancer, it never really goes away.
Now I fully believe in divine healing, I believe God can make my cancer disappear.
But, I also believe He can use my cancer, use my battle, use my experience, use my perspective, use my voice to reach people. To bring more to His kingdom.
And I fully rest and trust in His plan for my life whether that includes healing on earth or healing in Heaven.
Fast forward 4 years, ready to celebrate 4 years of being “free” of cancer and my worst fear, the fear that had been eating at me every day since my initial diagnosis happened.
My cancer came back.
Did you know only 22% of U.S. MBC patients live longer than 5 years and only 11% live longer than 10 years?
Due to a lack of public knowledge around MBC, compared with early stage breast cancer there are many widespread misperceptions.
Metastases can occur as early as several months to 25+ years after treatment.
Every year 685,000 people die from metastatic breast cancer globally.
Did you know there currently is NO CURE for MBC and early detection will NOT prevent this disease from metastasizing to bones, liver, lungs and brain?
MBC patients, like me, are in treatment for the rest of our lives. Cancer cells eventually outsmart current available treatment methods. In the U.S. 25% of cancer patients can’t afford to pay for treatment. AND MBC patients do not always look sick.
My hair has grown back. My skin is dewy. Most would never even guess that inside my body a war is raging.
Right now, as I told my 7 and 5 year old daughters, my cancer is asleep. We have no idea how long it will stay “asleep” but according to science, cancer cells will eventually outsmart my medicine and wake up. The reality of metastatic cancer is an invisible one, behind closed doors I have no nipples, I have scars all over my body, I had my uterus removed, I had all my breast tissue removed, I had my cervix removed, I am dealing with menopause at 37. I break out in a sweat while teaching my daughters, I run to the bathroom as I deal with chemo side effects. All of this has become “normal” in my home.
Today is National Metastatic Cancer Awareness Day.
Today, please consider putting on green, teal or pink (or all three). Green represents renewal, hope and immortality. Teal symbolizes healing and spirituality. Pink signifies the metastatic cancer originated in the breast. Today and everyday I hope to help the public truly understand not only breast cancer but, metastatic breast cancer.
Consider giving to Metavivor who fights for funding for those battling metastatic breast cancer or the Breast Cancer Resource Center OR better yet, to a family you personally know who is battling breast cancer or MBC. Always be an advocate for your health. Perform monthly, thorough self-breast exams, learn about prevention, don’t wait to be sick to live healthfully.
I pray everyday that God has me here for a purpose bigger than me. To raise my girls to walk with Jesus, to support my husband in his faith walk, to encourage my momma in her faith walk and to share my story with as many people as I possibly can while there is breath in my lungs. Join me in lifting up others and making this life as full as possible.
“Always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.” 1 Thessalonians 5:15