We live in a culture focused on survivorship…Living with metastatic breast cancer is about thriving and surviving, fighting for the rest of my life to live with courage and dignity despite the odds I am facing. Living with MBC can feel isolated and misunderstood, because when people think of breast cancer they think early detection and cure. That is not the reality for those living with MBC; my reality is daily I face the challenges of living with MBC, so do many others. An estimated 155,000-plus women (and men) in the U.S. currently live with “mets,” Stage 4 breast cancer that’s metastasized, or traveled, through the bloodstream to create tumors in the liver, lungs, brain, bones and/or other parts of the body. While treatable, metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is incurable, between 20 and 30 percent of women with early stage breast cancer go on to develop MBC. Median survival is three years; annually, the disease takes 40,000 lives. I am an advocate for anyone fighting cancer, every person facing cancer fights their own battles, the ups and downs, and each person wants the best outcome possible, cure. Living with MBC, is a constant battle, treatments can be harsh and unrelenting, and there is NO CURE. I remain hopeful and believe that MBC will be a chronic illness as if someone is living with COPD or Heart Disease, and hope for continued research and progress towards ways to treat and manage MBC; there will be new ways to help those living with MBC live with a chronic illness not a death sentence.
Living with MBC is a mix of emotions as well as physical ailments for many balancing MBC; MBC is more like another full-time job. I personally do not ever get a break, there is always an instance of MBC rearing its face during my day. Whether I am managing pain or waiting for test results there are always subtle reminders of my “new normal.” I’m thriving and surviving, facing every step head on and hoping that my current treatment is working. Do I consider myself a survivor, yes I’m surviving, will I ever be cured no but that does not mean I’m not fighting to live. Survivor: a person who copes well with difficulties in their life. In many level I am coping, faced with numerous challenges as I adjust to and accept my new normal. I will continue to thrive and never stop fighting. I will live with MBC as a chronic illness, there is no doubt in my mind.
Moore Fight Moore Strong!!