As I write, it is the first day of spring, 2021. Exactly two years ago, on the vernal equinox in 2019, I received the news that my breast cancer had returned and spread far beyond my breast. This is metastatic breast cancer, the incurable form of the disease. I will live with this for the rest of my life, and I am doing all I can to ensure I will be here for a long time to come. Life is never without its challenges, nor its joys, And, while the day-to-day challenges of living with MBC are numerous, the opportunities to savor the joys and learn the lessons abound. So here, in no particular order of importance, are some of the things I've learned along the way.
- Every day is a gift. That goes without saying, but I said it anyway.
- Joy and equanimity can co-exist with fear and uncertainty in the same place and at the same time.
- There are harder things I have faced than my diagnosis of MBC. Seeing my younger daughter and her unborn daughter - my granddaughter - go through breast cancer treatment together was infinitely more difficult to witness than hearing my own disease had recurred and spread.
- There is hope to be found in connection - with family, friends, and with others who truly understand what you're going through because they've been there themselves.
- Breast cancer is everyone's problem. No one is immune to the disease.
- We will never find a cure for the disease until we understand two things: what causes breast cancer to start growing in the first place and what causes it to spread, or metastasize.
- The Breast Cancer Coalition is working diligently to answer these two questions, In addition, we provide support and connection to those diagnosed with the disease, as well as to those facing gynecologic cancer.
Your donation to the 2021 Pink Ribbon Walk and Run will directly help survivors in our region and fund ground-level research directed toward understanding the causes of breast cancer and/or the mechanisms by which it metastasizes. The Coalition is an independent, grassroots organization. We do not receive any funding from national organizations. As a proud member of the staff, I can assure you that your generous gift will be used wisely and well in our region while making an impact that will ripple out to everyone touched by the disease.
Thank you for your support. It means a great deal to me, to my family, and to my colleagues and friends at the Coalition.