Normally I try to remain optimistic. I hope and believe that I can beat metastatic breast cancer. But the reality is that most do not.
In the last few days I’ve been googling up metastatic breast cancer blogs to read other women’s stories. To be honest, I usually try to avoid reading much of anything about metastatic breast cancer. The stories are not always good. The statistics not so encouraging. Quite a few of the blogs I’ve found come to an abrupt end – when 3 years or 5 years later the courageous women suddenly get really sick and then – they’re gone.
The reality is that the odds aren’t in my favour.
I think we also need to be clear that stage 4 metastatic breast cancer is a different beast than all other breast cancers. When you are diagnosed with stage 1, 2, or even 3 BC – the prognosis is pretty decent. You go through a year or so of really intense treatment, surgery, pain, and drama… Get rid of the cancer… And then hope it never comes back.
But metastatic breast cancer has no “cure”. We don’t just do treatment for a year or so. We do treatment for the rest of our lives. Metastatic cancer is more like an intense chronic illness that can take your life at any moment.
Sometimes it’s hard for me to relate to the journeys of other women with earlier stage cancer. Yeah, stage 2 cancer sucks. But you won’t have to be in chemo for the rest of your life. Your cancer will likely go into remission. Your odds of survival are pretty good. You’ll likely get your life back again.
It’s different for me.
This article from USA Today actually describes the situation pretty well … Women With Advanced Breast Cancers Feel Left Out, Forgotten.
All that being said, I still believe in my heart of hearts that I can beat this.
Hubby and I can no longer feel the massive tumors that used to be in my left breast. I know my fighting spirit, along with my commitment to both eastern and western medicine is working.
I am determined to beat the odds. To surprise everyone with my “clean” scans. To be the unexplainable miracle.
I will never give up hope. But reality is still damn scary sometimes.
Hugs, – T