Saturday, May 9, 2015

I have Metastatic Breast Cancer

My daughter Jenna shared an article that best describes the type of cancer I have.  The type of cancer I have is called metastatic breast cancer. (MBC) I am also estrogen receptor positive. As this article describes, "most cultures focus on survivorship, [however] those with metastatic breast cancer who will be in treatment for the rest of their lives can feel isolated and misunderstood." This article describes best how I feel.

According to Mapes, "155,000 women and men live with 'mets', Stage 4 breast cancer that's metastasized, or traveled, through the bloodstream to create tumors in the liver, lungs, brains, and/or other parts of the body." Mapes also states that, "while treatable, metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is incurable [and] median survival is three years; annually the disease takes 40,000 lives."

Mapes also states that, "As with primary breast cancer, treatments for [MBC] can often be harsh and unforgiving. But dealing with an incurable illness and the side effects of it's treatments aren't the only burden that MBC patients have to bear. Many have to also educate others about their disease, explaining over and over, that no, the scans and blood tests and treatments will never come to end. No, staying positive and 'just fighting hard' isn't going to beat back their late stage disease."

Believe me, I'm grateful for the large support system I have.  Let me start with my husband.  He's always here for me and helps me whenever I ask.  My five children are helpers when I need them too and know how much I love it when they brush my hair! As a member of the Mormon church, I have an incredible support system through the Relief Society.  The Relief Society is the largest women's organization in the world!

Having MBC is pretty crazy, however, when my family, friends, and those who ask me how I'm doing really want to know, this article will help you to understand my answer to "How are you feeling?"

Yep, this is me.