In 2018, I went to the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium for the first time. It was overwhelming and I felt in over my head at many of the lectures. One statistic stuck out like a sore thumb …. lung cancer has been the leading cause of death by cancer in women for many years. In 2018, breast cancer surpassed lung cancer as the leading cause of death by cancer for women. Clearly, that was not a positive statistic.
I was 38 when I was diagnosed. 38. I was tandem breastfeeding my boys when I felt the lump. By the time I felt it, I had Mets in all my bones … every single bone was full of lesions. Yes, we know now that we have a germline mutation in my family. ATM is similar to BRCA but carries a lot more predispositions to other cancer like prostate, ovarian, etc.
I had my very first mammogram as we were trying to figure out what was going on.
My very first mammogram.
We have to do better for everyone. The significance of the aggressiveness of breast cancer diagnosed in young women is not something to gloss over. My friends, many of them younger than I, are dying every day.
We need to solve the riddle/puzzle/problem that is metastatic breast cancer. I will be a casualty. One day, all of you dear readers will wake up to the announcement of my death. We need a cure and funds to go to research rather than awareness. We are literally #dyingforacure.