October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Let’s become more aware! I’d like to share some things I’ve learned.
Here’s info you may not know. I didn’t, even though I beat the monstrous beast nearly 23 months ago.
But first, a bit of background from my story…
I was declared cancer-free after the 1st hour of my 1st surgery. My BC Surgeon said she got it all & all margins around the cancer tumors were clear of disease. However, the Sentinel Lymph Node on the left had a 1mm cluster of cancer cells in it; no others did. Since there is no way to know if any cells, even one, got past that Sentinel Node & into my Lymph System, I need to take a pill that suppresses estrogen (what the 2 cancers I had feed on) for a minimum of 5 years, possibly up to 10 years.
The cancer I had was of two types, DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma In Situ) & IDC (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma), both Stages 0 & 1. Having 2 types of breast cancer at one time, by the way, is not uncommon.
Now for some clarification of a few things i hadn’t known…
Metastatic Breast Cancer(MBC) is always Stage 4 & is incurable. Once you have it, you are living with it, whether it is active, in remission, or showing No Evidence of Disease (NED), & your treatment plan is for life, which can be a fairly long time for some, or devastatingly short for others, even with early detection & treatments!
Breast Cancer in Stages 0-3 is considered curable, according to an article I read, & has the highest Survivor rate, yet receives 93% of available funds raised towards research, whereas less than 7% goes to Stage 4 (MBC), which is not curable, & is what causes all Breast Cancer deaths! This is very unbalanced & unfair, in my opinion!
The article I found was very informative & it cleared up some inconsistencies I’ve heard, during my journey, that I previously found very confusing.
We should all raise our voices to get more of a fair percentage of available funds designated to research for MBC so the Survivor rate & quality of life can increase for as many as possible! Survivors of MBC (you’re considered a survivor as long as you are living with the diagnosis) live with unimaginable pain, side effects, deformities, diminished strength & endurance, undefinable fatigue, insomnia, & intense fear of recurrence or sudden aggressive growth & spread of the cancer, just to mention a few of the never-ending challenges one faces once diagnosed. The physical, emotional, mental, & spiritual changes & challenges are indescribable!
The victims of Stage IV (MBC) of this monstrous disease deserve much better than 7% of the funds raised for cancer research.
113 people die EVERY SINGLE DAY from Metastatic Breast Cancer!!! 1% of them are men, by the way.
* The organization I found, so far, that gives 100% of funds raised to research for Metastatic Breast Cancer is: Metavivor.org.