Breaking the Silence of Metastatic Breast Cancer
Rethink Breast Cancer’s LiveLaughLearn video series offers practical tips for young women with breast cancer. So far we have tackled topics from tips while going through chemo, how to care for a wig, how to help a loved one with cancer, to sorting through life post breast cancer treatment. All very practical and applicable to the various stages a young woman must go through when faced with breast cancer.
But what happens when the ongoing “phase” is metastatic cancer? Cancer that has spread beyond the breast to a different part or parts of the body, and can hopefully be treated, but not cured. What tips or advice could be useful for this population who is looking for access to new drugs, when the old ones stop working? Or when they are thinking about their legacy, when their friends are thinking about planning their next birthday bash?
The one common thread that I have heard from all women who are living with metastatic cancer is that they were blind-sided. That there was little information or resources that could prep them for what they were going to have to hear, absorb, and ultimately live with for the rest of their lives. That there was a silence around metastatic cancer, especially in younger patients because there was no cure.
I started asking our network of women what some of the issues are around being young with metastatic breast cancer, since they are the experts, and worked with Jesse Senko to bring their narratives to life visually.
What followed are 5 beautiful and inspirational videos that shed some light on the metastatic experience but also offer some sound advice:
- Building A Legacy
- Telling Loved Ones About Your Diagnosis
- Dealing With Chronic Illness & Scanxiety
- Accessing Clinical Trials
- Finding Hope Support + Community
Thanks to Teva, Jasmin, Melanie, and Michelle, these videos will also alleviate some of the fear, isolation and loneliness that many young women face when diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Their stories will hopefully offer support and encouragement for others to share in this community and break the silence.