Living with MBC

First, you need to know I was always an athlete. From the age of 4 all through adulthood. I was a vegetarian for many years. Didn’t do drugs and rarely drank. So, needless to say, that when I performed my regular self-check I was surprised to feel a small hard “piece” in my left breast. Not much bigger than a grain of rice. This was Nov. 2018. Jan 2020, met with my primary care doctor. Feb 2020 mammogram and ultrasound. I am a nurse so when I saw the ultrasound I knew.

Continued testing

March 2020 attempted biopsy, but only got 3 samples as the tumor was resistant to anesthesia. Came back confirmed and supposedly slow-growing but hormone +.

In June of 2020, I had a bilateral mastectomy to help my chances of non-recurrence. My numbers were just at the line of maybe chemo, maybe not. No radiation needed. They did however take 5 lymph nodes at the time of mastectomy that came back clear. Return to normal activity, which is a lot. Remodeling my house, cutting trees all that physical work. But I love doing it.

Still not feeling myself

At my appt for additional reconstruction, I mentioned weird pains I was having in my lower back and in between my shoulder blades. More tests...advanced metastatic breast cancer in my bones. My entire spinal column, entire pelvis, tops of both femurs, 4 ribs, and a collar bone.

Ugh ugh ugh.

Telling my family about my diagnosis

That was harder to tell my family than my original diagnosis. My children, 15, 17, 19 & 21 at the time were heartbroken. That I was the one to break their hearts- I struggle with it to this day. My husband, the strongest man I know, breaking down...both in front of me and when he thinks I don’t see.

I have a very high pain tolerance as I already have Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy R(SD) bilaterally in my legs from toes to hips. But when they play tag to see which can hurt me the worst...I do struggle. It’s like pouring gas on an already blazing fire.

Finding the right healthcare team

I’ve since switched my entire team and treatment center. And it had been a good move. I’m still going to die, but everyone does. I joke about it all the time, even though my hubs n kids think I go too far sometimes lol. But I’m not going to change and I’m going to be the biggest a$$ right back at my cancer!

As far as advice…I would just say…live your life, make jokes, make more memories. Sitting and crying in a dark room won’t change it. Might as well pull up the big girl panties and get on with living!

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