I’m a pretty simple person. I have a wonderful family, great friends, and until yesterday, a job I loved, most of the time. I have two boys, 22 and 20 and have been with my husband more years then I’ve lived without him. It all sounds perfect except for the fact that I grew up in a pretty chaotic environment. The Center for Disease Control recently released a study called the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. It consists of 10 questions. The higher the number of positive responses, the more likely you are to experience health or emotional health issues as an adult. I like to over achieve and scored a respectable 8 out of 10 on the study’s questionnaire. It’s no wonder I have cancer. The body knows what the body knows.
20 years ago cancer and I battled our first round. I like to think I won. I had chondrosarcoma in my fibula. It was a breeze, surgery to remove part of the bone, some rehab and the process of being a busy mom and raising two young children continued. Eight years ago I told myself to stop worrying about getting cancer again and to “Shake that monkey off my back.” Yea, should have listened to that intuition of mine. I was diagnosed with breast cancer 3 months after my mammogram came back all clear. But no sweat, I can do hard things; it’s what I’ve always taught my children. Pink culture told me I needed to make it 5 years and all would be well. On my 5-year check up I discovered that the cancer had metastasized to my bones and I was now one of the 30%. I know life is complicated, but I never realized how complicated having stage IV breast cancer can be. This blog is an opportunity for me to talk about metastatic breast cancer and the crazy, unpredictable mess that it is. It’s also a chance for me to work through my fears, talk about my hopes and to give some credit to the wonderful group of supportive people I have surrounding me. Everyone has hard things in their lives. Metastatic breast cancer isn’t harder or easier than many of the things humans endure on a daily basis. There’s a lot of bad out there in the world, but there’s a lot of good too. For me, it’s all about finding the balance.