Community Stories

These are stories from the breast cancer community. Video and blogs detail day-to-day experiences, tips and words of inspiration for others living with metastatic breast cancer (mBC).

Latest Stories

Things Are NOT Going to be Okay, and That’s Okay

By Beth

After the shock of being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer (mBC) in 2014, I’ve felt like I have been coasting along the last eight years, with my cancer behaving relatively unremarkably. But recently, the wind was knocked from my sails, and I realiz

My mBC Diagnosis: A Reflection (Part Two)

By Lindzey

My mBC journey has felt at times like an ongoing nightmare because of my family history. While I was growing up, my mom was diagnosed with cancer three separate times, with three different types. One of her diagnoses was breast cancer.

Life With Early Breast Cancer vs Life With mBC: Our Contributors Weigh In Part One

Receiving any cancer diagnosis can be scary. We talked with two of our Story Half Told contributors to understand the similarities and differences between an early breast cancer diagnosis and a metastatic breast cancer (mBC) diagnosis – the misconceptions

My mBC Journey: A Search for Understanding

By Sheila

Breast cancer struck at a time in my life when things were going well. It was 2009, I was serving in the United States Air Force and moving to Illinois to further my military career – it was a very exciting time.

My mBC Diagnosis: A Reflection

By Lindzey

In 2018, I spent two years going back and forth to the doctor’s office and hospital because I was feeling very sick. The symptoms I experienced were fatigue, bone pain, tight chest, difficulty sleeping, no appetite, and inability to concentrate.

Sex, Intimacy and mBC

By Beth

Let’s talk about SEX! Of all the things I thought I would lose to cancer, sexual function was never one I considered, but here I am, writing a blog about sex and intimacy (or the lack of, in my life).

Thirteen Years: Cherish the Moments

By Sheila

Thirteen years ago, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer (mBC), more commonly known as stage IV breast cancer. Only 29% of women diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer live at least five years after the cancer is found.

No Pink Tutus Here, Let’s Talk Activism

By Dana

Advocating for patients with breast cancer, especially Stage IV breast cancer, can feel overwhelming. Maybe you are unsure where to start, or maybe you have guilt you aren’t doing enough. Some people even fear using their voice for change, and that’s okay

How to Prepare for the Challenges of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

By Philecia

Oh October, you’re supposed to be filled with spooky activities and fall spices. But for many of us in the breast cancer (BC) community, it feels like the pink ribbon floods every store, every commercial and everywhere in between.

Looking at Death Differently: Perspective and Planning

By Beth

So far, I’ve had eight years to check items off my “Things I Must Do Before I Die” list (it’s like a Bucket List, but tedious and boring), yet I’ve put it off for as long as humanly possible. It’s honestly a LOT. The tasks seem heavy and daunting

MBC and Family

By Khadijah

Khadijah and her daughter, Deja, discuss what it was like to learn about Khadijah’s mBC diagnosis and how they leaned on one another during difficult times. Khadijah shares her advice for those going through similar journeys.

Friendships Within the mBC Community

By Esther

Esther shares her experience with joining support groups after and mBC diagnosis, including her initial hesitations, what surprised her about the groups and how she has felt empowered after meeting people who are going through a similar journey.

Dealing with a Range of Responses After an mBC Diagnosis

By Carol

Carol shares how she dealt with a range of responses when she shared her mBC diagnosis with friends and family. During this time, Carol opens up about becoming your own best advocate and the importance of leaning on those who prove they’ll always be there

Harnessing the Power of Female Friendships Amid an mBC Diagnosis

By Esther Brickley

It was a hot August afternoon when I found out I had de novo metastatic breast cancer (mBC) – meaning I had never been diagnosed with breast cancer before – and when I was diagnosed, I learned the cancer had spread to my lungs.

The Importance of Mental Health in the Black Community

By Sheila McGlown

Mental health is not something that is talked about often in the Black community; and yet, it's an essential aspect of physical health and life satisfaction.

The Dense Breast Dilemma

By Carol Miele

“It is like looking for a snowball in a snowstorm.” That is how my oncologist described looking for a tumor among dense breast tissue (DBT) to me.

Dealing with Stress Around the Holidays

By Beth Fairchild

Holidays, well, they can be stressful in general. It’s easy to put unrealistic expectations on others during family gatherings, or to allow societal pressures to cause us unnecessary anxiety because we feel as if we are falling short.

Loss, Hope and Love in the Storm

By Khadijah Carter

A survivor of breast cancer, diagnosed in 2003 and diagnosed with metastatic disease in 2010, I am no stranger to managing the uncertainties of a deadly illness. I became increasingly concerned in March of 2020 as we learned that coronavirus cases were be

Out on a Limb

By Carol M.

As you have likely experienced, life can throw you a curve when you least expect it.

Love While Living with MBC

By Beth F.

I never dreamed that at 40 I would be twice divorced. To be honest, after my metastatic breast cancer (mBC) diagnosis, I never imagined I would be alive at 40. As it tends to do, breast cancer snuck up on me and family. It brought a lot of changes, both


By Ann Marie O.

Truth. It's kind of difficult to know how honest we should be with our kids. We want to be able to talk to our kids about anything from sex, to mental health, and what trouble you got into as a child. It can be really hard to have that conversation with

Becoming My Own Best Healthcare Advocate

By Carla H.

I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer (mBC), stage IV de novo, in May of 2014 at age 37, three years before the recommended age to start receiving annual mammograms. After hearing my primary doctor say, “Oh you’re only 37 you don’t need a

Holley Kitchen

By Renee S

“Your life is made up of 2 dates and a dash – make the most of your dash,” Holley said once in a speech she gave. Holley 100% made the most of her…

Do Tattoos Cause Cancer? – The Making of the Stupid Stuff People Say to People Living with MBC

By Beth Fairchild

It’s understandable. You want to say something comforting and hopeful to someone you know living with cancer. But, the truth is, you don’t really know what to say. So...

What Being an Advocate in the MBC Community Means to Me

By Angela 'Jersi' B

My name is Angela and in the breast cancer world I am known as Jersi. I was diagnosed 3 times with breast cancer, and have been a metastatic patient...

Humanizing MBC

By Story Half Told

Patricia Wu was one of the many metastatic breast cancer (mBC) patients who modeled in the 2019 AnaOno New York Fashion week Cancerland show…

Self-Advocacy as Self-Care

By Emily G

My little boy was born in November 2015, after a wonderful pregnancy and a mostly uncomplicated delivery. I was thrilled to be a mother, but also...

Tattoo Artist Helps Women Embrace Their New Post-Mastectomy Bodies With Art

By Story Half Told

Samantha Rae Carniato is a tattoo artist from Vancouver Island, Canada. She specializes in helping women embrace their new bodies and life post-mastectomy with art…


By Beth Fairchild

Beth Fairchild talks about how being an advocate for mBC has impacted her life.

Advocacy Work

By Carol Miele

Carol Miele talks about her advocacy work and how she was able to get the governor of the state of Florida to sign a proclamation declaring that…

Tsiliana Jolson Walking in the New York Fashion Week Cancerland Show for Those Not Able to

By Story Half Told

Tsilianna Jolson is a stage IV metastatic breast cancer (mBC) patient. She modeled in the AnaOno New York Fashion week Cancerland show to speak…

Active Role

By Beth Fairchild

Beth Fairchild talks about how taking an active role in the mBC community has helped with her own diagnosis.

Using My Experience to Educate Others

By Latonya W

My name is Latonya, I’m a native of Sumter, SC, and a veteran of the United States Army. In 2006, I separated from the Army and started my career as a government…

Living with MBC

By Michael Kovarik

Michael Kovarik talks about living with metastatic breast cancer and how he empowers himself to confront the darkness that comes with that.

Nurse to MBC Patient

By Carol Miele

In this vlog, Carol Miele recounts the feeling of when she was first diagnosed with mBC and talks about how she overcame the overwhelming feelings she endured.

I Choose Every Single Day to Live My Life!

By Jessica K

I was first diagnosed with stage III breast cancer in 2013, at the age of 36. My son was only 11 months old at the time. All of my energy that should have...

What It Means to Live with Stage IV Cancer

By Nicole L

I have finally settled into the reality of this diagnosis and what it really means to “live” with stage IV cancer, which is considered a “terminal” diagnosis...

Understanding MBC: Chronic vs. Terminal

By Sharon A

The term “terminal” usually refers to a progressive disease that is incurable, irreversible, and does not respond to treatment. Death is usually the expected result...

Metastatic Mothering

By Emily G

I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer the same week that my son turned two. He’s now three and a half, and the span of time since my diagnosis has been...

Working Through Treatment

By Esther Brickley

Esther Brickley talks about how and why she keeps working during her cancer treatments.

Sheila’s Experience: Comparing BC to MBC

By Sheila O

Hello! My name is Sheila, and I'm 51 years old. I’ve been married to my wonderful husband Mike for 25 years and we have 3 children. When I was first...

Challenges of Being Diagnosed with MBC at 18 years old

By Brittney B

Life can be hard sometimes. Life with metastatic breast cancer can be even harder. I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at the young age of 18 years old...

"Metastatic Madness" a Poem About Living with MBC

By Carol Miele

You have to be half-mad To live with this disease, It seems to have a way Of bringing you to your knees. Cancer cells invade your body And soon...

Physician Lifeline

By Carol Miele

Carol Miele talks about the importance of communicating openly with your physician.

Relationship with Doctor

By Beth Fairchild

Beth Fairchild discusses her relationship with her doctor and how she maximizes her time with her doctor.

Doctor Visit Preparation

By Esther Brickley

Esther Brickley is on her way to a doctor’s appointment and finds a great opportunity to give viewers tips on how to prepare for an upcoming doctor’s visit.

Preparing for Treatment

By Sheila McGlown

Sheila McGlown talks about how she prepares (or doesn’t prepare) for upcoming doctor's appointments and treatments as well as how she looks to God and her prayers...

Digesting Information

By Beth Fairchild

Beth Fairchild talks about how she digests information from her doctor, and how she approaches discussions with her doctor as it relates to her treatment.

Approach Doctor Appointments

By Beth Fairchild

Beth Fairchild talks about her support system when it comes to going to the doctor.

The Doctor Preparation

By Beth Fairchild

Beth Fairchild talks about how she prepares for upcoming doctor appointments.

Time for Others

By Esther Brickley

Esther Brickley talks about being a metastatic breast cancer advocate and making time for others.

Creating a Legacy for Myself and My family

By Melissa D

Being diagnosed with breast cancer at 30 years old is not something you would normally think about. I was Stage III, HER2/neu+ breast cancer. I thought I…

How Three Women Became Dear Friends via Their MBC Diagnoses

By Lisa O

My name is Lisa and my mBC story began on July 22, 2015, when I tripped over my stationary bicycle and broke my neck, my C2 to be exact. I refer to it as...

You're Not Alone

By Story Half Told

Emily Garnett was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer (mBC) in 2017. She was 32 years old.


By Esther Brickley

Esther Brickley encourages patients to join a support group and lists all the things she’s learned from joining one herself.

Valuable Advice About Living with MBC

By Ashley W

The most valuable piece of advice I’ve gotten about living with metastatic breast cancer (mBC) is to focus on the positives! This isn’t anything…

Supporting Loved Ones

By Story Half Told

Tim Watkins lives with his partner and Story Half Told participant, Michael Kovarik, in upstate New York. He traveled to New York City to show…

Keeping it Together Mentally for One’s Self w/ MBC: The Internal Self-Battle

By Maggie K

I am a medical rarity – I am one of the women who got metastatic breast cancer (mBC) before the age of 40. I had a better chance of being struck by…

Self-Love: It’s a Journey Indeed

By Melissa B

It’s hard enough to remember to love ourselves these days, whether you have breast cancer or not. But layering on surgery or chemotherapy can certainly...

Stress Management as it Relates to Managing an MBC Diagnosis

By Terlisa S

Receiving a stage III breast cancer diagnosis at the age of 31, when I was already 8 ½ months pregnant, was very stressful to say the least. It’s not…

Music Therapy

By Carol Miele

Carol Miele gives viewers advice on ways they can cope with their disease through therapeutic activities such as music therapy.

My Mother Loved Each Day to the Fullest

By Amanda W

This story is about my mother. My mother was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer at the age of 54. It had metastasized to her liver…

Staying Active

By Esther Brickley

Esther Brickley talks about the importance of exercise and what helps her stay active with mBC.


By Esther Brickley

Esther Brickley talks about setting a goal and accomplishing that goal within a set time frame.

Artist Tells Her Story by Painting Artwork on MBC Patients

By Story Half Told

Marianne Duquette Cuozzo is an artist foremost, but also a three-time cancer survivor. She shared her artwork with the models of the AnaOno New York…


By Beth Fairchild

Beth Fairchild discusses how she uses yoga and meditation for her mind, body and soul.

Support Groups

By Carol Miele

Carol Miele gives viewers advice on ways they can cope with their disease through therapeutic activities such as support groups.

Self-Care: Move it to the Top of Your List

By Melissa B

A breast cancer diagnosis can turn your world upside down. Endless doctor appointments. Scans. Prescriptions. More scans. Talking to your doctor…