I was diagnosed in November 2017 after finding a painful lump under my right armpit. My diagnosis was de novo metastatic breast cancer, or Stage IV breast cancer. Metastatic means the cancer has moved from it's primary location in the breast to other parts of my body.
I jumped right into the treatment process while trying to continue my everyday life as a mom of three kids, working full time and trying to lead a regular life. In between treatments I teach preschool and play piano in a small local church on Sunday. I keep my three children's lives running with school and activities and try to keep our day to day lives as normal as possible. I love to play piano and read and cook.
I am one of five sisters and they and my parents have been a huge source of love and support through this. My parents would drive over three hours to come take me to treatments and stay overnight to make sure I was ok before returning home. My sisters would come to the hospital with me and make me laugh while hooked up to the IV. My friends have surrounded me with such unconditional giving that I sometimes can't believe how lucky I am on the other side of the coin.
I have always tried to live in the moment and experience joy. I want to laugh and see my children grow up and find their paths. I want to read books and play music and travel. Cancer takes a lot of that and doesn't give anything back in return. I feel angry and lost and hurt a lot of the time. But in between I still find that I'm able to laugh and be determined and find the will to work towards things in the future.
I find a lot of purpose in trying to bring attention to metastatic breast cancer. It is a hard thing to talk about since it is scary and uncomfortable, but the need for research for Stage IV is vital and needs to be addressed. I've met a lot of wonderful women through this disease, and lost friends I never had the chance to meet.
Any day now I start my sixth treatment regimen, a clinical trial of a new drug that I pray will be effective. I need to believe that a new treatment will be found that will change this disease, I can only hope that day comes soon. Cancer changes everything, not only for me but for my family and friends as well.#StageIVNeedsMore #DyingForACure #Metavivor