Month: May 2016

1 more with stage 4…

I am on my way to support another who has been diagnosed with this disease! I am shocked as well as she. A lump was found in a mammogram over a year ago and they “dropped the ball”, did not investigate! Now the cancer has spread to liver and lungs. This makes me incredibly angry and sad! Just like me (but worse) a woman’s life is being cut short, she was failed by the medical world built to protect us!! I am not sure what the doc’s are going to tell her, we go together, on Wed afternoon to find out treatment and prognosis.

I am filled with great sadness and anger

My heart

is hurting, as tears fall

but I will wipe them away and stand up and be strong for this woman I love!

 

 

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Purpose

One afternoon, my (13 year old @ the time) son said, “I wish I could stay home everyday, mom!”

I responded, “Not this way! Being sick kinda sucks Buba! Plus, I don’t know who I am anymore. I miss my job! I woke up everyday with a goal. I just don’t know what my purpose is anymore!”

His response blew my heart up! He paused and said, “Mom, your purpose is still the same as it always was, you just need to be you!” See, my kids are the best lol My son, my enlightened savvy son, filled me with pride and love! He taught me a lesson that day, about me and him! I will never forget it!

Letting go of my career was one  of the hardest things I had to do. This diagnosis puts a lot of things into perspective. Trying to live it to it’s fullest while battling the nasty depressing thoughts creeping into your mind everyday. Dealing with pain. Doctor’s appt’s scans and results.Trying to be normal. But the disease opens your mind to something only a few people are privy too. Acceptance of time. Patience. Letting go. Not sweating the small stuff. This happens when the dust devil finally settles and you have had time to process everything that has happened.So what is my purpose now? All cancer people deal with this tormenting thought. You lose so much of who you used to be and struggle to find your new self. You also feel an awareness of responsibility to do something great! It is a pressure that looms and has to be acted on, I can not die without doing something!!!! Some people fund raise, blood drive, food drive, blog, volunteer. You just have this want to give back somehow!

I had a thought about a year or so ago. I thought about a story I once told my children. I made up this story after Ethan was born and told it to Naomi as well. I wanted to write it down and somehow make it a book for them to read to their own children. I then thought it really is a cute story and maybe others might want to share it with their own children. Then I thought, if it was published and sold I could give a percentage of sales to MBC research! Now that would be something!!! So, being the dreamer I am, I sent out my manuscript last year only to be rejected many times. But, last week, my big dream was reawakened! Knowing how small chances of success are, I do not care! I started sending it out again.  What is that saying, Wayne Gretzky- “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take!” So I am taking my shot, again, ’cause really, what is there to lose?! So far I have heard nothing but I will keep you posted on that.

Another thing I did was (obviously) started a blog in hopes my little voice could reach someone on need, bring a smile and/or help bring understanding and awareness, at least to one person. Well I have succeeded and it feels wonderful! I have reached over 3000 people in 11 countries and I am amazed!

The roller coaster of whats next is maddening. I grasp the bar and ride the hills a little easier now, as long as I have purpose in my life it makes the thrill of the ride sensational!

 

The great divide

As I started to learn more about what metastatic breast cancer was, I noticed it seemed to be divided from all the other stages of breast cancer. I did not understand at that time why. I felt alone and like I did not fit in anywhere. At the support centre I was too young for the metastatic group and too advanced for the breast cancer group.  I had become a member of a club I had no wish to join.

The truth is there is more hope in the other stages, they are curable. All other stages are avoiding this stage and funding goes to them. I am thrilled at how far we have come to beat breast cancer with awareness, early detection, fundraising and research milestones. Life expectancy has risen and there are more and more survivors every day!  However, 20-30% of women will advance to MBC (metastatic breast cancer).

My ribbon is not PINK, I wish it was but sadly it is not.

The average percentage of all breast cancer funds raised that goes towards metastatic breast cancer is  2%

MBC is a death sentence. It is chronic and progressive. Treatments will never stop. The average life expectancy is 24-36 MONTHS, most die within 3 years. 20% of us live to 5 years. THESE STATISTICS HAVE NOT CHANGED IN 20 YEARS

Our mantra- STAGE 4 NEEDS MORE

We are known to be meta-thrivers, lifers, meta-vivors. We are not survivors we are fighters and live everyday striving to combat the life-taking disease occupying our bodies. I am proud now to be one of these people, finding strength, joy, love and one day a cure! I write this today in hopes to bring more awareness and understanding to this confusing disease.

I share this video, of a woman, mother, wife, friend and fighter! Her video epitomizes what most of us lifers feel and think everyday! The first time I saw it, I was overwhelmed with a connection to this stranger I had so much in common with, she understood me and I her! She took the words out of my heart and soul! Sadly she lost her battle January 12th at the age of 42, but her incredible message deserves to be shared to the world! Rest well Holley

 

 

I will repeat my vow to beat statistics and fight like a girl everyday! I will continue my battle to annihilate the uninvited squatter in my body! I hope help inform,guide and inspire! Above all I hope to live and someday see the cure!

 

Here are a few links:

http://ww5.komen.org/

http://www.mbcalliance.org/

http://mbcn.org/