It has been a while . . .

2 Oct

Hi all,

It has been a while and I have some updating to do! First, I have been locked out of my blog and just now regained access. Not easy to do with WordPress, but ultimately we were successful.

My last post was in October of 2014. Not too long after that, I was not feeling well. I was treated for bronchitis. Since I was in remission for five years, no doctor thought to order scans. So in in April 2015, while traveling abroad, I became pretty sick. A few weeks after I got home I went to the emergency room and that is where I got the news that I had metastatic breast cancer. I was told I likely did not have much time. I was in liver failure, had lung, bone, liver and brain mets. I was offered a reduced chemo in hospital. My doctor said that we could try it and if we might be able to buy a little time. She was very clear that without treatment, I would likely be in hospice within a couple of weeks.

I decided to try the reduced chemo. My liver tolerated it. They ran it very slow and gave me an 80% dose. I continued treatment on a daily basis for quite some time. After spending about 10 months, seven days a week, at the Cancer Center where I have treatment, my liver was clear and I was considered NEAD (no evidence of disease). But, brain mets continued to appear despite gamma knife procedures. I am going to fast forward a bit as I do not want to rehash everything since 2015. I continued treatment through today. Still have treatment and will always have treatment. That is mbc.IMG_0341

So here is where I am at:

I am here! Which, if I think about it, is pretty amazing!

And while life is not always a bowl of cherries, I am considered “stable” right now. I have a PET scan this week. Obviously hoping everything remains stable or is improved.

I stopped writing here in October of 2014 because my heart was just broken. I lost so many friends. I felt I had said all I could say about the inequities in research for metastatic breast cancer, was so tired of the pink washing and really needed a breatk.

I felt guilty about not writing. But, I just had to take a break. I did not intend to take this long of a break. But, with grueling treatment and just trying to survive, blogging was just not something I could keep up with. So one week became two, a month became several months and then I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. I did not want to journal publicly about it. In fact, I shared this new diagnosis with very few people initially. I have been writing to a small group of friends on a private page on Facebook. So I have had that, and needed that very much.

I have continued to work as I can. Although, I have been told to retire. I just don’t have the ability to do that and quite frankly, it is good to keep moving and working as I can.

I need to update the “About me” page. But, I am not up for it right now. I will return to it.

When I picked the name for this blog – cancerfree2b – I knew full well that for me, given I had an aggressive type of breast cancer with a high rate of recurrence, that I might one day be stage IV. I thought about the name cancerfree2b and what that would mean to me if I had a recurrence. I decided then that it would always be a state of mind that was worth pursuing. No, I am not cancer free. But, I do my best to not think about it all of the time. I do my best to live in a way that is not completely run by cancer. This is not an easy feat. But, I have a lot of good days.

It is October, Pinktober. Ugh. I will be writing about that and the pink nonsense that I dread. Pink is not a cure, breast cancer is not sexy or fun. Early detection does NOT save lives. Anyone can get metastatic breast cancer, early detection does not prevent metastatic breast cancer.

Hoping to bring attention to the metastatic breast cancer – the only breast cancer that kills.

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