I have been reading a lot lately, and more specifically some perspectives pertaining to women with metastatic breast cancer. I know the month of October really annoys and angers many stage IVers. I would be lying if I said a lot about this month didn't bother me, it does! However, I can also relate to people who aren't in this stage IV category.
I wish that women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer remain with no evidence of disease for the long haul, so that these women can continue to live. The stats are a different story all together. 1/3 will develop distant metastasis, however when and who will be affected is unknown. 2/3 will survive and continue to live their lives.
This month I just don't like the bitterness. Some things that I read I feel as though women want others to fall into the stage IV category so they "get it." Let me tell you, before I was a stage IVer and considered "curable" I completely understood what it would mean to have stage IV metastatic breast cancer. I finished all my treatments and was scared out of my mind. My friend joined the ranks of stage IV before me, and I watched her deteriorate and leave behind her husband and two beautiful children. I GOT it before I had stage IV.
I want people with early stage cancer to have a good life, I want them to relish finishing their treatments, and I want them to LIVE as if cancer was a past tense, god forbid it comes back. Don't waste your time thinking of the "what ifs." It will consume you, and if it does come back you would have wasted your time worrying. If anything, become a better you. Realize the fragility in life while recognizing your own strength that you never knew you had.
It sounds so cheesy, but can't we all just understand each other? Why cant we get along? Absolutely, stage IV needs more, a whole heck of a lot more! I understand the mortality rate, however I'm not going to sit around and say I'm dying. I'm not. I'm very much living, and choose to believe that new advancements will come about that continue to keep me alive. If all we think about is dying, then we aren't really living at all. I will never give cancer the power, therefore, today, I won't acknowledge what it's capable of. Obviously, cancer doesn't recognize what this chick is capable of either! We would be doing a complete disservice to those who lost their battle, or those too ill to actually enjoy their lives if we only focus on deterioration and death. Bitterness will slowly consume and eat away at you, just the same way cancer does. I've given this disease enough of my attention, and I choose to be happy and understanding to everyone. Do I have days where I'm sad, mad, confused, angry, and overwhelmed? Damn right I do, but I try to limit those days and moments because they don't help ME. ALL types of cancer suck. I hate it. That's a fact. I've established that more needs to be done in regards to stage IV, however I will offer my support to EVERYONE. I choose to LIVE, LAUGH, and LOVE. This isn't an exclusive club, and I am not about to become a hater. I dare you to LIVE with a focus on life, will you accept?