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Old 03-15-2018, 01:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 2
My mother was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. She was 56 years old. Very healthy. People in her family live to be 110. No history of cancer. She had a normal mammogram in 2009. In 2010, the doctor saw something close to her armpit.

They did an ultrasound. Then a biopsy. It was cancer. They said it was the size of a pea. They told her she could do chemo and a lumpectomy or a mastectomy and no chemo. She opted for a mastectomy.

After they cut off her boob they discovered the tumor was actually the size of a golf ball and deep into her chest along the chest wall. That's why it didn't show up on a mammogram.

And it was the bad kind of cancer. HER2+ The lady-killer. HAHA

So the docs said she HAD to do chemo. She did chemo, radiation and one year of herceptin. They blessed her and sent her on her merry way.

In 2014 she developed a lump on her shoulder between her neck and shoulder. She thought an insect bit her. She went to the doctor. They said it was a lymph node. They did a biopsy. The cancer came back. Ha! I was like, "shoulda cut off both boobs." Nope. The other boob was actually healthy. And the oncologist told us that you can get a recurrence even after a double mastectomy. You can have breast cancer without boobs.

I thought, ok, more chemo blah blah.

The doc did a PET scan and said there was cancer in her chest, lungs, shoulders, jaw, neck and liver. So chemo? For how long? And he said the words I will never forget. "Chemo until the cancer miraculously goes away or until she cannot take it anymore."

I was still confused so I looked it up. Stage 4. Incurable. The doc gave her 6 months without chemo. He said chemo would prolong her life but not cure her.

My heart sank. My mom told me she would rather die than do chemo again. So I cried. And my whole world died that way.

But a little glimmer of hope, the doctor said, "She's gone home. She started chemo today."

She chose to fight.

6 months later her scans showed "No evidence of disease." NED. They don't consider stage 4 cured. Ever. It is incurable.

Herceptin for one year. And then her doctor ventured to say, "you're in remission."

20% of stage 4 cancer patients are dead within 2 years.

Then in 2016, I am sick in ICU. My mother comes to see me. She leaves and says she has to go. She has to go back and do treatment. The cancer is back. In her lungs and her liver.

And that has been my rollercoaster to this day. She is still alive. NED. Metases. NED. Metases.

And she doesn't want anyone to know. So I suffer in silence. It's her right to fight her private battle.

But all I have to say is fuck Susan Komen. Fuck the pink movement.

30% of women who are successfully "cured" of cancer have a stage 4 recurrence. Some as far as 20 years into the future.

Many women to mammograms every year and get a clean bill of health but they still have cancer.

HER2+ is more prevalent in black women and is deadlier than other breast cancers.

100% of women who die of cancer die of stage 4. Yet hardly any money is allocated to research it.

Fuck the pink movement for not telling me it could come back. Fuck them for not telling me that the survival statistic means how many women are alive in 5 years. Not how many are permanently cured.

Fuck the insurance company for canceling my mom's long term disability because she hasn't died soon enough.

Fuck all the pink because it means nothing to me and my mom.
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