Recurrent and metastatic (advanced) breast cancer


So yeah, so there’s ways to manage your family members and I think that’s depending on your relationship with your parents and stuff like that. I think it’s very important for them depending on your situation, and where your cancer has spread, to make sure that they understand that advanced cancer doesn’t necessarily mean a death sentence. That it’s going to be a ever, I use the analogy of a chronic condition that we’re always going to be treating it. It’s never going to go away, but there is hope and there is ways to stay positive and constantly... there’s so much more advances to be able to constantly keep it in check or to try to keep it in check. And if you can, if you can start to have them see that, I think that then provides them with a little bit more reassurance and stuff like that. And again, it depends on where it is, and then I think you have to be honest with them. I at the very beginning of all this stuff, I hid a lot of things because I felt I had to be strong. My sister and I are extremely close and so I didn’t want to show her all my fears and all my emotions and stuff like that. So I would put up a little wall and I would be strong and you wouldn’t know this now.

And so I think the uncertainty for me is the hardest part, but having a plan in place with some stuff in place is sort of liberating for me. For the first little while before I sort of started to put things in place, I felt a little disjointed and very agitated. Because what’s going to happen, for a control freak or a control person it’s really difficult not knowing what’s going to happen. How do you plan a trip when you don’t know if you’re going to be back on chemo or not? Things like that. Actually, my husband actually said "We’re going on a trip on Monday." And he sort of said "If it does come back, we have bigger things to worry about than the money so book the trip and just go." Don’t, don’t put your life on hold because you don’t know, you can’t.

Every time you go for these scans and these checkups that you know you’re never sure what’s going to happen and so there’s this huge anxiety. Be aware that it’s going to happen and just be... put in place some things that will make you feel better. Is it being by yourself, is it having some people around you, is it having whatever, but always have somebody at appointments with you is the key thing. Because there’s so much that’s going on. And don’t shut other people out because it’s isolating enough that if the people truly love you, you need to work this thing through. You need to, in a way, they need to work it through as well. It’s sort of a symbiotic relationship where you’re both giving and taking. They may not think that they can help you in any way. But it’s just the unburdening and making sure that you keep it real, and it’s okay to cry and it’s okay to have bad days but it’s okay to forget about it for a while too. Try to go enjoy things that you love to do and stuff like that.

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