Portrait of community member Cait Kelley

Community Member Spotlight: Cait Kelley!

Here at AdvancedBreastCancer.net, we want to highlight all those affected by metastatic breast cancer. Through our community member spotlight interview series, we had the honor of hearing Cait's triple-positive invasive ductal carcinoma story.

De novo metastatic breast cancer diagnosis

Cait shares her story.

How & when were you diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer?

I was diagnosed in March of 2020 at 33 years old after discovering a lump in the shower. I had just had a breast exam as part of an annual physical in October of 2019.

At first, I was assumed to be stage II, but staging scans showed a single met on my sternum and I was upgraded to stage IV three weeks after my original diagnosis.

What type of breast cancer do you have? Was it recurrence or de novo?

I was a de novo diagnosis of stage IV, triple positive IDC with a single bone met.

What information/support was most helpful for you when you were newly diagnosed?

I found connecting with other people my age with the same diagnosis made it easier to navigate. Additionally, having so many resources available through organizations like AdvancedBreastCancer.net has allowed me to research and be an informed and proactive patient.

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

Online support has removed the feelings of isolation a cancer diagnosis can cause. Being diagnosed weeks before the pandemic took hold here in the US and living in one of the hardest-hit states was a lot to process. As a single woman, having online support kept me connected with others who supported me, offered advice, and knew firsthand what I was dealing with.

What 3 pieces of advice would you give to someone who is newly diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer?

  1. Don’t believe everything you read, you are not a statistic.
  2. Talk to a therapist (if you can) - processing a life-limiting diagnosis is tough and having a therapist who was familiar with treating cancer patients helped immensely.
  3. Advocate for yourself. MBC is not “one size fits all”. Research what’s out there, ask your team questions and trust your gut.

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