I was diagnosed for the first time at 31 years old in 2008. I had a year of treatments and looked forward to putting that year behind me. No family history and I am negative for the BRCA gene. We had caught it early and my team of doctors were optimistic that I would be in full remission. Eight years later I found a lump above my collarbone. After scans and biopsies, it was confirmed my same cancer had returned. Numerous spots were found throughout my bones, lymph nodes and lining of my lung.
This happens to 30% of patients diagnosed, regardless of what stage it was found. 30% of patients will metastasize no matter what stage the initial diagnosis was, and it can happen 5, 10, or 25 years later. Early detection did not save my life.
I will be in constant treatment, continually trying to keep the cancer stable until I am out of treatment options. Cancer that has spread beyond the breast to distant organs-bones, liver, brain etc – is the only cancer that kills. Funding for metastatic research is the only thing that will prolong my life.
I have been living with Stage IV, metastatic breast cancer for 18 months, and the median life expectancy is 36 months. I want to see my girls start kindergarten and watch my son graduate. I need more time.