Sheila’s Experience: Comparing BC to MBC
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 diagnosed with early stage breast cancer in 2009, I was graciously given an abundance of information, resources, and support. I felt empowered and encouraged. My treatment was aggressive… [and] going through that wasn’t easy on myself or family. I counted down the treatments and I was done. I honestly never looked back.
Fast forward eight years and I’m diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. I counted up treatments, not down and done [like before]. I’m thankful to continue to count! My experience between the initial and the metastatic breast cancer diagnoses was very different.
There is no end in sight for treatments, it’s ongoing. [Following mBC diagnosis], there were no resources, empowerment, or support. I’m watching young ladies diagnosed with mBC and it’s awful. I was given eight years between diagnoses and some [of these young women] are diagnosed de novo [patients initially diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer without any prior diagnosis of breast cancer]. I didn’t know what that was until I got thrown into the metastatic breast cancer world.
Research and getting early stage breast cancer survivors on board is key [sooner than later]. They need to know the chance of it returning metastatic is real.