Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer: Amy

Amy, 39

Amy is living with metastatic breast cancer. We wanted to know: how would it feel to learn that a promising drug treatment for your cancer will take another year or two before it can be available to you?

As a woman with stage four or metastatic breast cancer and a mother of two young girls, each day is precious. I don’t know how much time I have left with my family, with energy, with mobility, with mental clarity… the list goes on and on.

I know that the cancer in my body will outsmart each treatment, and that there are only a handful of treatments available. Everyone responds differently to drugs and doctors can’t explain why. I don’t know how smart the cancer in my body will be, but I do know that the more treatment options I have, the longer I will live.

Learning that a promising drug treatment will take another year or two before it is available here would be a premature death sentence. It could mean that I wouldn’t be able to walk home from the bus stop, holding hands with my six-year-old daughter on her last day of grade one.

It could mean that my perfectly amazing husband and I would be sitting on the back deck as the end approaches, having a tearful discussion about when I should move into hospice, rather than planning next summer’s family vacation.

It could mean that I would be gone before my three-year-old daughter is old enough to remember me. She would have pictures and stories, but this last scenario is a devastating thought that no amount of philosophizing or meditation will soften. I can’t bear to think of it.

I’ve done my best to embrace groundlessness so that I can continue to live with joy, but stage four needs more. Making promising drug treatments available quickly would make a world of difference to me, and to my family.

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