A portrait of advocate Stacie Marie

Community Member Spotlight: Stacie Marie

We’re highlighting people in the metastatic cancer community. We talked to Stacie who shares her personal story and how Advancedbreastcancer.net's community has been helpful throughout this experience, especially since the pandemic.

How & when were you diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer?

September 22nd, 2020 was the day I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. I found my breast lump two weeks before that date and was scheduled for my biopsy on September 23rd (the day after diagnosis). On September 22nd, I fractured my spine after simply sneezing. I went to the emergency room and they did a CT scan of my spine. That is where they found the cancer lesion, which officially made me metastatic.

What treatments did you have following your diagnosis? How did the treatments and side effects impact your life?

My first treatment was radiation of the tumor on my spine, which was what caused the fracture. After finishing the 10 rounds of radiation I started chemotherapy. 6 rounds (I only finished 4) of Taxotere, Herceptin, and Perjeta. Plus Zarxio for my white blood cells and Xgeva to strengthen my bones. Side effects were horrible, to say the least. Face rash, high heart rate, awful bloating and heartburn, weakness, ear ringing, and headaches were just some of the side effects. I also developed a blood clot in my neck from chemo.

What's your favorite part about AdvancedBreastCancer.net? How has online support helped you?

My favorite part about AdvancedBreastCancer.net is having a place to connect with others going through the same thing. I love the articles with information about treatments, symptoms, and other helpful information. Online support is so helpful, especially now with covid and not being able to be around people for support.

What advice would you give to someone who is newly diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer?

I think when we hear the words “you have stage 4 cancer” we all immediately think, we have been handed our death sentence. That was my first thought, that and my kids and family. I did not want my kids to grow up without a mom. So my advice would be to get those thoughts out of your head. Keep positive, happy thoughts. Even though I know that is hard to do sometimes. Find something to occupy your time. Practice mindfulness as much as possible, find a community to support you. Remember that new medications for cancer are coming out all the time. Many women live long long lives with MBC.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Stay strong, dig in and fight...

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