Thursday, October 30, 2014

30 facts in 30 days - DAY 30, WE MADE IT!

Thank you for sticking with me this Pinktober as I've worked to empower and educate. I hope you've learned something - I know I have! I hope you'll think twice before buying anything festooned with pink ribbons, and that you'll know what questions to ask. I'm ready to close the many tabs I've got open on all my devices and take a break from reading about cancer. I'll be doing a blog post with all the links from this month, but not today, and probably not tomorrow, either. I'm leaving you with Melanie Childers of Badass Survivors - learn more about Tamoxifen, the drug most of us who are pre-menopausal are prescribed after treatment.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

30 facts in 30 days, day 29

Early detection DOES NOT equal a cure, and anyone, no matter their original staging, can go on to develop mets.

In a culture focused on survivorship, those with metastatic breast cancer who will be in treatment for the rest of their lives can feel isolated and misunderstood.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sunday, October 26, 2014

30 days of facts, Day 26

The conversation MUST change.

"Currently, it is estimated that Stage 4 breast cancer receives less than 5% of the funding earmarked for research. In the U.S. alone, 40,000 people will die of metastatic breast cancer this year, and that number hasn’t changed much in the past 30 years."

30 days of facts, day 25

Breast cancer is expensive. My care, which did not include chemo or radiation, has gone over $250,000; with very good insurance, we paid out over $12,000 out of pocket with travel expenses.

Breast Cancer's Financial Toll: The High Cost of Fighting for Your Life

Friday, October 24, 2014

30 facts in 30 days, Day 24

Radiation may seem like "a walk in the park" vs. chemotherapy, especially to those who haven't had it. In my own case, I could have chosen lumpectomy and radiation over the double mastectomy without radiation, but because I had a tumor in each breast, my risk of long-term health issues was much higher.

I was criticized for choosing such a drastic surgery for stage 0 (DCIS) cancer. However, as I already have an autoinflammatory disease and seem to be the "side effects queen," my doctors warned me that due to the location of my tumors, I would end up on permanent asthma meds (my asthma currently only flares if I get sick), and there was concern because I have a heart murmur.