I felt like I couldn’t let today go by without writing about living with metastatic breast cancer – doing my part to continue to help people be “aware” of this untold often overlooked part of breast cancer.
Metastatic breast cancer is often left out of the conversation about breast cancer because it isn’t pretty, sparkly or pink. No one (including myself) wants to shed light on the fact that breast cancer can come back – regardless of original early stage diagnosis and the best treatments (both of which i had). When it does there is no cure. There are treatment options, but those who have metastatic breast cancer will die of this disease. Maybe in a matter of months, maybe in years. But, right now there is no way to stop it. There are no “end of treatment celebrations” and no matter how much we brave patients “fight it” we can’t stop it from taking the lives of mothers, sisters, daughters and friends.
I have metastatic breast cancer. Yet, I don’t look sick at all. I am more “sick” than an early stage breast cancer patient who is bald, tired and sick from chemotherapy. Yet, I don’t look at all like a cancer patient. At least right now. But, we don’t know when the cancer cells in my body will outsmart the current drug I am on and I develop another painful bone lesion, the cancer spreads to another vital organ or stops responding to treatment.
Today, on National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day I am doing my part to raise awareness for people like me. It is unfair, frustrating, depressing and awful. Yet, we get up each morning – hug our kids, walk our dogs in the rain, look for lost shoes and “do” life. Every normal moment holds the joys of “living” but also the tainted, twisted film of having a terminal illness. This weekend we were at a soccer tournament for our son Wills. I love watching him play because when I am cheering him and his teamates on I don’t think about cancer. I am so nervous watching him in the goal that I don’t think about anything else. But, then a parent slaps my husband on the back after a successful game and jokingly says “Keep that kid in the goal. I see a soccer scholarship in his future… ” How will be navigate college without me? When will the day come when he doesn’t hear me cheering “lets go wills” from the sideline. Tears. hold back the tears. reality. metastatic breast cancer. get to a private place to cry. don’t let them see me cry.