Today, October 13th, is Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. Those of us living with Metastatic Breast Cancer get one day during Breast Cancer Awareness Month to tell you our story.
Here is mine in a nutshell.
Most days I feel like a fraud.
I have been living with Metastatic Breast Cancer for 9 years. I am one of the lucky ones.
I have been on the same medication for the past 7 years, and (for the most part) it has kept me stable. But that is not the norm. And that makes me feel like a fraud.
Did you know the average life span of somone diagnosed with Metastatic Breast Cancer is about 36 months. I have lived 3 times longer than that, and I hope to continue to beat those odds.
I get up every day and try to put my best foot forward (which, of course for me is my right foot – if you know me, you know why that’s funny). And the cake, it is true. I have learned to celebrate when the news comes and it doesn’t mean progression, it’s just a herniated disc.
I have been told numerous times that I am “an inspiration”, or you need to tell your story to more people. But honestly, most of us don’t want to hear that we are an inspriration. We just want to live. And live life well. (If you want to read my story, it is all here on this blog and you can start here.)
If I’m being honest, I don’t feel like an inspiration at all. And I sometimes get tired of my story. Isn’t there something else people want to talk about? I love having coffee or lunch or dinner with friends. I love to go to the movies or to see a concert. I love to sit at home and watch Netflix. I love to spend time at the beach or in the mountains, or just hanging out with my daughters. These are the things I treasure and what I want to continue to do for as long as I am here.
But this is also what Metastatic Breast Cancer looks like and feels like to me. This was the first time I walked with a cane after having surgery to remove an infected, rebuilt hip – all courtesy of metastatic breast cancer.
Nine years later I’m still standing. I sometimes feel like a fraud, but this, too is what metastatic breast cancer looks like.