Community Member Spotlight: Celeste B.
We sat down with one of our community members, Celeste Baldwin, and she shared how she is moving forward after an metastatic breast cancer (MBC) recurrence in 2018. Read her story.
An MBC recurrence diagnosis
How and when were you diagnosed with MBC?
After a stage 1 ductal carcinoma diagnosis in October 2014, I opted for a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. I didn't want to have to face cancer again. In 2018 I felt a lump on top of my left implant. Right, where my first cancer was found. The oncologist and radiologist were sure it was just fat cells. Nope! After a biopsy, it was determined to be cancerous. A PET scan found cancer in one lymph node behind my liver. And so began my metastatic breast cancer journey.
Living after an MBC diagnosis
What information/support was most helpful for you when you were newly diagnosed?
The MBC diagnosis meant death. I cleaned my sock drawer and closet and started a list of final arrangements that needed my attention. A friend recommended I apply to be an advocate for Living Beyond Breast Cancer, Hear My Voice. I was accepted and found myself surrounded by hundreds of women at varying stages of my same diagnosis. This showed me there is life after a cancer diagnosis and to don't give up hope. Now, I reach out to every new MBC person I hear about. I want them to know that yes it is scary but they are not alone. I answer questions as best I can and let them know that I am here any time they need someone.
Online support for MBC
What's your favorite part about AdvancedBreastCancer.net? How has online support helped you?
My favorite part of AdvancedBreastCancer.net, so far, is knowing that anytime I need information or just an ear I can find it there. The ladies that post on Facebook are so kind and caring. Everyone can use a reminder every now and then that "you've got this".
Advice for new MBC patients
What 3 pieces of advice would you give to someone who is newly diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer?
Have you gotten a second (or third) opinion after your breast cancer diagnosis?