The Stats

I’ve been avoiding reading anything about stage IV metastatic breast cancer for fear of what I’ll see.  But in preparation for my appointment in Columbus tomorrow I felt the need to do a little research…  So online I went…

The good thing is that when you have late stage cancer a million more treatment options are available.  Very promising drugs that are still in testing and trial mode for earlier stage cancers are practically standard treatment for us folks at the end of the line.  Of course, this is because everyone figures when you’re at the end of the line what have you got to lose?

What i’d been really avoiding was looking at the numbers – The survival statistics for stage IV and metastatic breast cancers.  The numbers aren’t pretty.  Apparently only 15 % of us survive longer than 5 years.  On the flip side, I keep hearing stories about stage IV survivors that have gone on to live way longer than that.  All I can say is that I plan on being one of the 15 % that keeps on living.

Monday I go for an MRI to find out more about the suspicious bone marrow situation.  Keeping my fingers crossed that the cancer has not spread to my bones.  I have high hopes for my new medical team in Columbus and I’m anxious to finally get some answers and start my damn treatment already and kick these cancer cells to the curb!

Until tomorrow…  Peace and love to all.  – T

10 Responses

  1. Hi Terri,
    Sending you, your husband and daughter, my prayers and good, positive energy and thoughts.
    Peace and love.
    We have today.

    (One of the Girls Weekend Away group……)

  2. Terri, Mike did not have a great outlook all those years ago when he was diagnosed with the very rare disease he has but he’s still here! (Oh boy, is he ever!) It was the medical research/new treatments and a very strong attitude that he was going to be around for a long time that kept him going. That’s going to be YOU!!!

  3. Hi, Terri–
    I only met you once that I know of, at Spider & Jeanne’s house in Vancouver (shortly before they moved to Bowen Island), but I am so sorry that this has happened to you. Lynne and I will send you all the good vibes we are capable of until you beat it!
    And I believe you can.

  4. Peggy V- you are SO spot on! And my beautiful niece, so are you… Let’s get that treatment going and kick some ass

  5. Terri,

    Try to find the humor and laugh. Laughter is the best medicine!! Wishing you and your family a great new year!! Peace, hope and love to you all – Carol

  6. For what it’s worth, Terri, I Googled the stats too, and wikipedia says that the 5-year-survival rate for Stage 4 is, as of today, over 40%. It also says that as recently as five years ago, it was only 10%, but huge strides have been made recently. If progress continues at that rate, by the time you’re 5 years into treatment, the survival rate will again be 4 times higher, or 160%!!! So brighten up: you’re lookin’ good.

  7. Terri, if you are interested, I can connect you with Linda Phelan. She runs the Healing Coop in Middletown RI, a non profit she started after having bilateral breast cancer in her twenties. She’s still here, now in her mid forties with 2 grandchildren. She has run support groups for women with cancer for all those years and would be a wonderful person to talk to. Her favorite group is her metastatic group, many of whom have beat the odds for years and years. Her website is She would be very happy to talk to you. Christa

  8. Dear Terri,

    The stats are meaningless when applied to an individual — just try using the gas laws to predict the behaviour of an individual molecule and see where that gets you, if you don’t believe me. You are YOU and you are unique. Your path is uniquely yours and nobody else’s. Your body is uniquely yours, too. If a temptation to engage in pseudo-mathematical speculation tries to sneak up on you, give it a swift kick in the you-know-where and then the sound thrashing it deserves.


  9. I am 36 years old with 3 kids and I have stage 4 breast cancer as well. I know what you are going through. Keep fighting and lets change those statistics together.

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