Thursday, October 13, 2016

Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day

Near the middle of Breast Cancer Awareness month falls October 13, Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. For all those that are aware of BC, not many are aware of metastatic BC. I know that until I actually had Breast Cancer, I didn't really pay much attention to it. I'm sorry for that. Metastatic Breast Cancer is the only form of Breast Cancer that kills. Breast Cancer contained in the breast and breast nodes, doesn't kill. It is when it spreads to the lungs, bones, kidney and brains that death is occurs. There is no cure for metastatic breast cancer. There are treatments that can sometimes prolong life but nothing so far there has been able to stop the spread, stop the death. The average life span from time of diagnosis of stage 4 (metastatic) to death is 18-24 months. 


MBC Time

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Day 12

Did you know that the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation has a different branch you can donate to where the funds go specifically towards metastatic breast cancer?  I didn't know, but now I do and so do you.

Remember, only once it's gone to metastatic state (stage 4) does breast cancer actually kill anyone. Prevention and treatment are great research options but the best way to save lives is to stop the deaths. CBCF Metestatic Fund

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Day 11

It isn't over, until it is over, and even then, it might not be.
The first picture is June 2015 when I had my port inserted. It was removed in Dec 2015 with my mastectomy.

This picture is from Friday (Oct 6) when a new port went in because it is still not over. I am setting up for another chemo round, this time 6 months, then we will see. I suspect, this port will be with me for life. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Day 7-10

Sorry, I really did mean to post daily, but hey, day 7 included out patient surgery, then there was post surgery recover, a long weekend and life with twins all mixed in.

I think for a 4 day awareness post, I want to maybe talk about some things breast cancer is not.

It is NOT the lucky cancer. Sorry. No cancer is lucky. If you have ever said that to someone, apologize. Cancer sucks.

It is NOT curable. Yes, there are some treatments for early stages (up to 3). For some people, these treatments can even make them NED (no evidence of disease, what was formally thought of as remission). But it is not cured. Over 30% of those who are 'successfully' treated in early stages will go on to a stage 4 (terminal) breast cancer diagnosis. And there is no telling when. It can be in a week, a year, a decade or even 20 years. So even if it seems gone, there is no way to know that it won't return, when or how. It's not cured, it's just hiding really, really well.

It is NOT a sexy cancer. Just because it includes the word breast, does not mean it is sexy. Stop buying into cheerleaders in pink bras.

It is NOT a Facebook game. Don't post your bra color or some made up ambiguous comment to "catch" others commenting then spread the game. Just don't. If you see someone do it and say it is in the name of breast cancer awareness then please reply back with a fact about breast cancer. That is how you raise awareness.

A mastectomy is not a "free boob job". It is a means to try to save or extend a life. It's not a simple surgery and it can have a lifetime negative impact on the person.

There is more I'm sure but for now, I am done and heading to sleep soon.  To those still following along, thanks!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Day 6

Breast Cancer is not a single disease. Each sub type responds differently and to different medication and influence.

This link in this chart is still only the tip of the iceberg too....

Some Breast Cancer Types

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Day 5

Here are some of my recommended books for kids with a mom with breast cancer. There are more, but these are those we've read that helped, at least a bit.

The Invisible String

Let My Colors Out

Mom Has Cancer

The Goodbye Cancer Garden

Our Mom Has Cancer

None of these books has given my kids (or me) a strong piece of mind, but they have opened conversations. I hope you never need them, but if you do, you now have some awareness of their existence.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Day 4

Over 1/3 of those with early stage Breast Cancer will still go on to develop Metastatic Breast Cancer (stage 4). It can happen in  1 month, 1 year, 3 years, 10 years, even longer after the original cancer was considered 'cured'. 

110 people, mostly women die of metastatic breast cancer in the USA every single day. How is that for being aware?  Please watch the video below. It is less than 1 year old now. Both Maggie and Heather have since passed away from breast cancer. Hear their voices. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Breast Cancer Awareness - Day 3

Breast cancer affects the entire family, not just the "lucky" one who gets it. It is hard work to keep the rest of life normal for kids.  When there are good days, they are celebrated.