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Stage 4 metastatic cancer

Stage 4 metastatic cancer

Posted by Rmb76 on Jul 10, 2020 1:18 am

Hi friends😔. My diagnosis changed this week from stage 3 to stage 4 breast cancer. I am a single mom 43 and i am having a hard time not going down the rabbit hole. Sooo petrified.... any words of encouragement..??? 

Re: Stage 4 metastatic cancer

Posted by MCoaster on Jul 10, 2020 2:05 am

Rmb76‍   Hi.  It is 10.30 here and my guess is that it is later where you are.  

I was very fortunate that a bilateral mastectomy resulted in my needing no further treatment but I know from this community that treatment for the more advanced breast cancers is becoming more effective all of the time.   Putting numbers on stages is useful but not everyone, even though their stage is the same, will experience the exactly same journey.  This a country with a very good record in fighting breast cancer.  

You are probably are thinking “what does she know and understand” but having a daughter of 42 and a son of 44 and grandchildren I think that you are feeling scared, traumatized and worried stiff about your daughter as much as yourself.   Do you have a support group and does your daughter also have support as well as the most important who, of course” is you?   I used this site for instance to be completely honest about my feelings because I did not want to add more stress on my family.   At the same time I recognized that we had to be open with how we each felt.   I found mindfulness and being out in nature helped me to reduce stress.

I am certainly that others will respond in the morning and they will have experience of the path you are on but please feel free to reach out to me if you wish.

A big and healing hug.

Margaret





 

Re: Stage 4 metastatic cancer

Posted by Rayline on Jul 10, 2020 2:07 am

Rmb76‍ Hello dear Rmb76 I feel  so down hearted for the news you received this week. I do not have any words that can take the deep loneliness and sadness away as I remember when I was diagnosed I would wake up on the middle of night and just feel this deep sadness that my time was coming to end. I think with a cancer diagnosis there is a tremendous amount of grief as we are facing our own mortality. I remember my therapist saying I was in a very dark place but that I would again feel hope. That give me a glimmer of hope. I am thinking of you and sending as many hugs as possible. On the very practical side, take good care with your eating and sleeping. I took melatonin for a bit. When I would wake up in the middle of the night  I would read or my mind would go to worst case scenario. Please keep in touch and let out whatever you need too. 

Re: Stage 4 metastatic cancer

Posted by Beespecial on Jul 10, 2020 8:11 am

Rmb76
Hello! 
I was diagnosed and treated for stage 3 hr/pr+, lobular breast cancer in 2017. Chemo first, then surgery, then radiation - about 9 months worth... Anyway, in 2019 my breast cancer had moved to my bones, so now MBC / Stage 4 for about a year and a half. 

I'm trying you this part because it's likely I was stage 4 at the time of my original diagnosis. 

TMN Staging is made up of a variety of factors.  We hear it as 'incurable' / last stage, etc. But it's really just a tool for oncologists to determine your treatment. You can ask them the difference between what you would have received and what you'll receive now. The language in cancer can be tricky and confusing. 

I worked in cancer research for about 20 years, and my colleagues remind me all the time that I am a person, not a statistic. It helps me stay calm about what's happening. It's still scary, and still difficult, but I'm am here and I still feel well and enjoy my life. 

​​​​​​Treatments change and improve all the time. Researchers are making great progress. Good luck  your with treatment, I hope it goes well. 




​​
Belinda

Re: Stage 4 metastatic cancer

Posted by Treepeo on Jul 10, 2020 10:01 am

Hi Rmb76‍,

I have an idea of how you are feeling.  I was diagnosed with breast cancer in March of 2019.  Shortly thereafter, I started chemo, and just before my last chemo treatment, I was told that the cancer had metastasized into my lungs.  They don't like to operate on patients with MBC, but six months later, my lungs remained stable, so I chose to have a bilateral mastectomy, as I had tumors in both breasts and in my left lymph nodes.  Thereafter, I opted to have radiation.  I know it has only been 1.5 years for me, but physically I am feeling pretty good, and that is really important to me.  I just don't want to suffer, as I have been through a lot in my life already.

When I was initially diagnosed with MBC, I remember being stunned, and then the questions started rolling around in my head.  What's going to happen, how long do I have, what will I go through?  It's just human nature to go through stuff like this, and I think it is a necessary evil.  You can't get news like this and be okay.  You're going to have questions, and you're going to be scared.  And that's okay.  You're entitled to have those feelings.  Just know that eventually, you will come to terms with your diagnosis, and then you will start to tackle it one step at a time.

There are all kinds of MBC and therefore all kinds of treatment.  My oldest sister has had MBC for about 19 years.  Fortunately for her, Herceptin treatments every 3 weeks have kept her cancer at bay.  She is 78 years old and still going strong.  So it IS possible to survive, and indeed THRIVE, with MBC.  And new treatments are being developed every day, so there is always hope.

My heart goes out to you, Rmb76.  Getting a diagnosis like this is hard to process.  It's going to take some time.  Please be kind to yourself.  Allow yourself time to be scared and to grieve.  And take some time for self-reflection.  We are all here for you whenever you need us.  Sending you a great big cyber hug.  Hang in there.  I feel for you.

Re: Stage 4 metastatic cancer

Posted by WestCoastSailor on Jul 11, 2020 9:59 pm

Trying to decide if I should post or not. It's about time for my monthly men get Breast Cancer post so I'll take a shot at this.

Rmb76‍ and Beespecial‍  and Treepeo‍ 

It won't be the breast cancer that takes me out. It is lung cancer and yes it is a separate primary. As I edge closer to five year survival I have come to realize that while I have an expiry date (or as some wag friend of mine put it "best before date") there is life to be lived. I can focus on cancer or I can acknowledge that while it is a huge part of my life, it is not my life.

So I take on little web design projects. I'm trying  to improve my creative skills - watercolour and poetry. And I spend a lot of time deepening relationships. I came across a saying today that has stuck in my mind "We eat to live and then we live to eat." I think it expresses the conundrum that is cancer survival well. We take treatment to live. And when the disease becomes chronic (I think that is a better way to look at Stage 4 than terminal) we live for hope.

I find myself feeling more alive. I notice little things that before I would have raced right by, worried about tomorrow, about getting somewhere, about some problem.

Setting modest goals. I just got clearance to train for a 5K race in September/ October. I can't believe how freeing it is to lace up my runners and let myself float over the ground. Amazing feeling. I was walking a few kilometers morning and evening but was feeling restless. It wasn't enough. Am I nuts? Maybe. But then there are lots of folks that would line up to tell you about crazy things that I have done in my life.

Everybody's journey with cancer is different.  But together we navigate the emotional roller coaster, the nasty side effects, and the awful final confrontation with death. May it be a long way off.

Angus
My story: http://journey.anguspratt.ca

Re: Stage 4 metastatic cancer

Posted by Rmb76 on Jul 12, 2020 10:34 pm

I am sitting here on my couch with my mom, my daughter and my black lab pup, Scout. My brother is here for a visit as well and has taken a liking to my best friend lol. Having a good laugh, watching them flirt lol!! I shared my news with my facebook friends and was really on the fence about that idea but another good friend suggested it was a good idea as my people would want to send me love and encouragement <3. I am already feeling better about “stuff” I find the hour before sleep and the few waking moments in the morning are where I need to really stay more aware of all the beauty in my life. My loving friends,  family and my community<3 Hugs All

Re: Stage 4 metastatic cancer

Posted by ashcon on Jul 13, 2020 10:32 am

Rmb76‍ 
Your post just put a huge smile on my face. It sounds like you are surrounded by love, kindness, and support.  ❤  Your journey may not involve a cure, but it sounds like it can still be full of healing.

I'm sure your finding all kinds of resources, FaceBook groups, etc.  There is also this resource that many women have found helpful as well:  Canadian Breast Cancer Network Guide for Newly Diagnosed mBC 

Wishing you continued strength, love and grace.
---- "Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced." ----

Re: Stage 4 metastatic cancer

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Jul 13, 2020 11:05 am

Beespecial‍ 

Important point!  " I am a person, not a statistic"

Thanks for sharing, always lovely to hear from you,

Lacey

Re: Stage 4 metastatic cancer

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Jul 13, 2020 11:12 am

Rmb76‍ 

You have only been a member of our community a short time and you have shown so much strength and resilience ❤

I'm glad you are sorting stuff out and finding your way. 

You can talk to us anytime 😊

Lacey