EDUCATE, DEMONSTRATE & ADVOCATE
On March 31, 2017 I attended the Advocacy for Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) workshop held by Rethink Breast Cancer.
The room was full of energy, laughs, long sighs, and nodding heads – without knowing no one would ever think all of these women share one thing in common – they had all been diagnosed with a terminal illness – MBC. It was a day where everyone understood the struggle – the advancements in care and the lags, being heard and ignored, the good and bad days.
Judith Saunders a patient advocate presented on Advocating to Improve the Lives of Women with MBC and oncologist Dr. Rayson, Medical Oncologist from Halifax presented on From the Outside Looking In – Reflections of a Medical Oncologist still learning about MBC.
The day focused around advocacy which lit a fire inside me like no other – that something needs to be done and it needed to be done now. MBC can no longer be ignored – it needs attention, research, funding and ultimately a cure.
The workshop was small and intimate which allowed for lots of sharing – in some way or another I could relate to everything that was being shared – whether it was about the specific needs of MBC patients, how patient values need to be woven into care, ways to motivate MBC specific research, and living well with MBC. Being newly diagnosed with MBC this was all new to me, but I knew I wanted to know more and get more involved. I had so many ideas percolating in my head for days after the workshop; it was a great introduction to the importance of this work. The one message that I took away with me was the importance of having our voices heard by EDUCATING, DEMONSTRATING and ADVOCATING for MBC. -Jaspreet