Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer since 2001
I am in my 12th year of treatment for metastatic breast cancer. Although I have been in treatment constantly since my diagnosis, I have lived, and continue to live, a full and productive life. In 2012, I had my tumor genetically profiled. This empowered me. It enables me to search for clinical trials of new drugs that might keep me alive with minimal toxicity so that I can continue enjoying life.
My journey with cancer began in 2001 when I went to my general practitioner because I was tired, so tired I was having trouble completing simple tasks. He told me he felt an enlarged liver and sent me for a CT scan. The scan revealed tumors in my liver. At the time they thought it was liver cancer, but biopsies showed that it was not, it was breast cancer. I was metastatic from day one.
My first thought was: How long do I have to live? Is there any chance of survival? I felt I had to say goodbye to my future.
But the reality is that I joined a vibrant group of people living with metastatic breast cancer. You might not recognize us, we may look just like you, we are not cancer survivors, we are surviving with cancer, constantly receiving treatment. In essence, we live two parallel lives.