A is for Advocacy, because I don’t know any other way to do this living with MBC thing.
B is for Baths since soaking in an Epsom salts bath each night has been so helpful!
C is for Camaraderie, since MBC is the worst club with the best people. C is also for Cowabunga, which is what my radiation oncologist recently said when he approved me for my last session of radiation this month.
D is for Daunting, since this living while dying thing is often daunting.
E is for Eloquence, since explaining what living with MBC is like takes eloquence.
F is for Facts, since knowing the truth and addressing it head on is how I deal with this disease.
G is for Gentle, since it is the an often repeated word in this household!
H is for Home, since home is where my family is, no matter the physical location.
I is for Intimacy, since entering into relationships requires effort and intimacy.
J is for Joy, since despite how dark the night, joy comes in the morning.
K is for Kaboom, since the knowledge of the diagnosis and the ongoing bombs that are dropped nearly daily have a lasting effect.
L is for Love, since my life is full of love and those whom I love.
M is for Metastatic, since the term alone requires education and specialized information to understand.
N is for Negativity, since it’s important to manage negativity and the stress it brings, whether you have cancer or not.
O is for Options, since we all need more treatment options when this medication fails.
P is for Persistence, since nothing gets done without persistence, especially in the medical system.
Q is for Qualitative, since understanding this MBC thing requires refreshing my knowledge of statistics and all kinds of other things I never thought I’d need again! Q is also for Quality since quality of life is so very very very important.
R is for Resilience, since a healthy amount of grit is necessary to get through each day.
S is for my favorite term, Side Effucks!
T is for Talking, since we all need to share our feelings and talk about what we need.
U is for Us, since no one can live this life successfully alone.
V is for Value, since we are all able to add value to the medical system by speaking up about what is important to each of us.
W is for Winning, since a win is so very different these days!
X is for X-rays (what else!), since every part of my body has been scanned repeatedly!
Y is for Young, since so many of are diagnosed with breast cancer before menopause and before regular screenings.
Z is for Zen, since I’m learning to handle the ups and downs of a metastatic cancer diagnosis with more equanimity and calm.
And there you have it, the glossary of my Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) experience. Many thanks to April at Wildfire for the prompt and the encouragement to write out these feelings as we walk the path before us.