GUEST WRITER | Another Side to Breast Cancer, West Suburban Mom Shares On Having Metastatic Breast C
Living Beyond The Color Pink...... an organic, evolving journey. Hey, it’s me… Happy October and Breast Cancer Awareness Month! I know what you’re thinking. “Sure, here we go, another rah-rah Pink Ribbon rally.” Most women, in general, believe they know everything they need to know about breast cancer. It is everywhere it seems. Early detection can save lives, for sure. Got it.
But, sadly there is another side to breast cancer that is rarely publicized. It’s scary. Non-curable and ultimately terminal. What I refer to is — metastatic breast cancer (MBC). MBC refers to breast cancer that has appeared to be beaten, but without warning, re-awakes to attach itself to unrelated organs – it has metastasized. This is a different animal. Patients face a lifetime of treatment with an average survival of just three years. But before you go running around like Chicken Little, let me remind you, there are patients who may live longer and unfortunately some who do not.
Today, I have MBC. Just diagnosed in April 2017, less than six years from the date of my original journey. I am now living with, and learning to accept life with MBC. It’s not something I asked for but I have no choice. I am now included in the more than 155,000 people with MBC in the U.S. You need to know about these ladies and gents. Like me, they are diagnosed MBC as a recurrence and are not counted in any MBC database. We will be added to the statistics upon our demise — and that’s a scary place that I try not to visit. To cope, I have adopted the idea that my MBC is a chronic disease, one that requires routine care and maintenance. I can’t let it call the shots or I could no longer exist.
My affection for the pink ribbon lies with the notion that it will help at least one more person to find their disease early, get it treated and hopefully they will never face MBC. I still honor the pink ribbon and I have grown to love the multicolored ribbon that is the symbol for MBC. So mark your calendars, girls and boys because here is a very important date for you to remember — OCTOBER 13, 2017 is NATIONAL METASTATIC BREAST CANCER AWARENESS DAY!
Take pause, and give to the cause. It is the only way researchers fund their work toward new treatments and hope. I can’t say what I will be doing that day. I try to live in the mindful moment — breathing in life and hugs from all my loves. My reality, will always be treatment. My life has an expiration date. I just can’t see it from here. Having MBC is very different. It gives life an unwelcome edge. I know I have a disease that will progress, I just don’t how quickly. Right now — it is hanging out in my bones. This will change. I do my best to live each day with love and no regrets, working on my “Life List,” and simply finding peace and happiness.
Peace, Jo www.Joannmirabelli.blogspot.com Inspire & Be Inspired, Follow Jo Ann Mirabelli’s Blog Today!