Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day
Per a resolution of Congress, today is Metastatic Breast Cancer awareness day.
While the entire month of October is Breast Cancer awareness month, much of the messaging focuses on prevention, survivors, and positive pink. The reality is prevention is not enough – we badly need a cure; I am a fighter, but I will never be a survivor; and nothing about the Breast Cancer experience is positive although I personally make an active choice to keep a positive outlook and make the best of the crappy hand I’ve been dealt.
Ironically, those of us most impacted by Breast Cancer – the ones living with the most advanced and incurable stage of the disease, Metastatic (or Stage IV) Breast Cancer – often feel isolated and excluded from the activities of Breast Cancer awareness month. The harsh reality of the disease, the associated loss of life, and the need for additional treatments (or even better a cure!) are often overlooked in favor of more light-hearted messages. This led to designation of October 13 as Metastatic Breast Cancer awareness day.
I recognize that Cancer is a heavy topic and the loss of life associated with it is not uplifting. People generally do not enjoy the feelings of discomfort that come with these realities. However, this reality is my life and that of too many other women. We are doing no favor to Breast Cancer patients, present or future, by glossing over these unfortunate facts. By prioritizing a cure, we can finally end the worst of the Breast Cancer epidemic – losing the ones we love.
Today in Washington DC, a group of passionate patient advocates is meeting with representatives to promote these priorities and share our stories. This event was planned by Metavivor, one of the Breast Cancer organizations I volunteer with, that focuses specifically on advocacy and research for Metastatic (Stage IV) Breast Cancer. I assisted with preparations for the event, but was unfortunately not able to attend. I’d like to send a heartfelt thank you to each of the individuals in attendance for taking the effort and providing us a voice. My disease willing, I hope to join you all next year!