#WeAreAllTheFaceofBreastCancer This October
STAGE 4 | MBC
In Her Own Words…
At the age of 36, I started working on getting back into shape after having our first baby. About two weeks into it, I started to feel a sharp pain along my sternum. I had thought it might be because I was out of shape, but had a nagging feeling it was more than that. A few days passed and I noticed some dimpling in my left breast. It was at that moment that I thought this might be breast cancer.
I immediately went to see my primary care doctor who did some tests which ultimately lead me to my diagnosis – metastatic breast cancer de novo. “De novo” breast cancer refers to breast cancer that has already spread outside of the breast to distant parts of the body. For me, this meant the cancer was not only in my breast but my lymph nodes, bones, and liver.
While treatable, metastatic breast cancer (MBC) cannot be cured. The five-year survival rate for stage 4 breast cancer is 27 percent; median survival is three years. Annually, the disease takes 40,000 lives.
June 2021 marked my 5-year milestone. Over the years I have been called brave, a warrior, and a fighter. However, I don’t think I am any of that. Here’s what I do know:
- I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, and a friend.
- I am a Peloton fanatic who thrives when riding my bike, flowing through yoga, lifting weights, or running with the pros and that community.
- I am an Account Director for a digital agency who enjoys a challenge alongside brilliant teams.
- I am a small business owner who appreciates the creative outlet that jewelry making brings.
- I am a vintage hunter, beach bum, chocolate-dipped ice cream eater, who loves traveling for an adventure.
And right now, I am training for the Boston Marathon which is happening on October 11th.
I never thought I would live 5 years. Never thought I would see my daughter go to Kindergarten (now First Grade!). Or that I would be running a marathon. But magic can happen. I can’t believe how lucky I really am. I feel like a unicorn.
What has been the most challenging part of your journey?
Seeing fellow metastatic breast cancer patients die. This disease is absolutely horrible.
What one thing you want all breast cancer patients to know?
Be an advocate for yourself. Ask all the questions. Get the second opinion. Ask if there is another way. Find the team that works for YOU and what you want/need. I feel like I really do have the best at the Dana Farber in Boston when it comes to my treatment plan and care.
What is your superpower?
My positive attitude. I got that from my Dad.
What is your theme song?
Ooh this is a tricky one! Right now I would probably pick Raising Hell by Kesha. It’s a power workout song!
What is your favorite movie?
I don’t like re-watching movies, but anything from the Harry Potter Series is the exception to that rule.
What is your go-to snack?
Skinny Pop Popcorn, the Family size bag!
What your spirit animal?
Snake. You can cut the tail off and it will regrow! I feel the same way about my cancer – you can knock me down but I am not out yet 😉
What is your favorite food?
Anything with lobster.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
The bucket list is long when it comes to travel. I would love to swim in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Dine with a view of that blue Aegean Sea on the Greek Islands. Hike through the redwoods in California. Play with my niece and nephews in Michigan again.
“You don’t have to, you GET to.”
— All My Favorite Peloton Instructors
WE ARE ALL THE FACE OF BREAST CANCER