My brain is feeling like a crowded mess of thoughts and feelings so I'm not even sure where to begin. I have no idea where this blog post is headed, but I can say that it may be interesting, kind of like this trek I'm experiencing now in my own life.
In case you were unaware, it's October 1, the month of pink, talk about mammograms, survivors, and early detection.
For the past few years I haven't really been a fan of all the pink reminders everywhere for an entire month. Now, I'm afraid I've progressed to dreading it. Having Metastatic Breast Cancer certainly changes the ballgame. I no longer fit into the specific box that breast cancer awareness chooses to focus on.
Before my diagnosis in June, I didn't get it. I knew about MBC and the fear of getting it lurked in my mind always, however I never clearly understood. Just like anything else in life, in order to "get it", you have to experience it. There is so much more to the story of breast cancer as compared to what is commonly seen, much more "beyond the pink".
Before, when I saw stories on TV and pink survivor shirts, I could relate, but now I tend to yell at the TV or mumble under my breath. My story did not end with surviving early stage breast cancer, and I can no longer relate to most of the stories we hear on TV. My story continues, as it does for an estimated 154,999 other Americans. There is so much more to the story, and although it's not easy or pretty, it still needs to be told. The most common thing I hear, read or see repeatedly is that "early detection is key"...UGH, gets me all fired up. Why? Well, early detection does NOT necessarily prevent the cancer from metastasizing, as is the case with me. Yes, some only find it in a late stage, but not all, not me.
-The 30% of people who develop MBC includes people who did detect their breast cancer early.
-You do not die from early stage breast cancer.
-Only 2% of the funds raised for breast cancer goes towards MBC, meanwhile 98% of those diagnosed with MBC will die from the disease.
As I watched a story on TV this morning, I was pleased to hear a doctor say this:
"The survival rate is going up, even for
those with metastatic disease."
First, thank you for mentioning MBC and second, whoop, whoop...hopeful news for sure!
And now, I think I'll get off my soapbox...for the present time. I'm not finished though. Something needs to be done, the word needs to be spread and more funds need to be allocated to MBC so a cure can be found.
Feel free to share this post and spread the word. It's human nature to shy away from the things that make us uncomfortable, but this is too important to do such a thing. Strength comes from doing hard things, talking about stuff that makes us cry, and facing our fears. So please read the hard stuff, educate yourself and help to inform others.
If you so wish to educate yourself more on this topic, here are some links for pages and blogs.
Thanks for reading and Happy Pinktober.