It's not just Breast Cancer patients that DIE as a result of this stage...
So... in my never ending efforts to help EDUCATE and ADVOCATE about #STAGEIVNeedsMORE, I had to share this graphic that shows how your initial cancer can metastasize and while it is still the cancer of the original location, it now exists in another location of your body... . Such as mine... Originated in my Left Breast in 2000. Had the "normal" treatment with lumpectomy and lymph node testing, Tamoxifen treatment following etc... was tested at the 5 year anniversary and was all clear... NED (no evidence of disease) an released from any further followup with the cancer center... Nearly 10 years to the day from that initial discovery, we found that the cancer had metastasized and was now in my bones, all throughout the pelvic area mainly. Nearly 6 years later from that, while on monthly treatment, daily pills, injections and scans every 3 months, we have now begun a new course of treatment with Oral Chemotherapy Pills, as the cancer figured out a way to get passed the treatments that had been holding it back from spreading, and is now also in my Liver, Lungs, and possibly one of my kidneys.
Testing determined that the cancer (newly found) is the same cell group that it has been, so a change in treatment was necessary, to combat it again, and stop it from growing any further. It will never be cured, all we have at this time are targeted therapies to stop or slow the growth in most cases. At the time I am writing this, I am now on day 9 of this new treatment. I do feel it is helping with my breathing issues, and pray that means it is actually targeting the tumors in my lungs...
Please feel free to share this information with others if you wish to share. I am open with my disease and treatment. I strive to educate others that otherwise have no clue about Stage 4/ Advanced / Metastatic Disease. Those of us living with this stage of cancer don't always LOOK or ACT sickly. It is when the cancer and it's treatments start to deteriorate our bodies that you start to notice visually, that we are sick. Inside however, we are in pain, and in fear for our future...always. So, when you meet someone that says they have Stage 4 / Advanced / or Metastatic Cancer of ANY FORM, please... do not tell them "oh, you don't look sick" or "I hear they have a cure for that", ...We already know how we look, inside and outside.. and we KNOW there is no cure, or dog gone it, we'd be making sure WE were getting it already!!
Thank you for taking the time to read yet another of my long winded rants on cancer. I hope you learn something from this, and take the time to help others learn as well... God Bless you all! Teri TLC Cranson Follow more of my BLOG posts at www.tlcgardensandcrafts.com
*Check out the NCI's website for even more information and graphics. Note: This is my own take on the disease from my personal standpoint..