Metastatic Breast Cancer – Too Many, Just Too Many

Sometimes I wonder why more people are not up in arms about how many women and men die from metastatic breast cancer each year, each day. Is pink ribbon culture’s fabricated illusion that buying pink stuff will solve all our breast cancer woes to blame? Is the media to blame for mostly portraying feel-good type breast cancer stories? Is the easy, but incomplete kind of messaging still too often being delivered by major players to blame? Are celebrities to blame for making cancer look too easy?

Are we all to blame for turning a blind eye a few too many times to breast cancer’s darkest side?

That darkest side is that too many still die from metastatic breast cancer, the only kind that kills.

Too many, just too many.

Too many mothers, grandmothers, wives, partners, sisters, daughters, aunts, cousins and friends still die from metastatic breast cancer.

Too many, just too many.

Too many fathers, grandfathers, husbands, partners, brothers, sons, uncles, cousins and friends still die. Because yes, men can and do die from breast cancer too.

Too many, just too many.

Too many older women, too many women in the prime of life and yes, too many young women still die.

Too many, just too many.

Too many endure horrendous treatment regimens while hoping for more time.

Too many, just too many.

Too many run out of options too soon.

Too many, just too many.

Too many families grieve and too many more will.

Too many, just too many.

Every day 113 more die in the USA alone.

Too many, just too many.

Too many hearts broken, too many dreams never realized, too many lives shattered.

Too many, just too many…

Why isn’t there more outrage?

When did you first hear/learn about metastatic breast cancer?

#dontignorestageiv #MetsMonday #pinkisnotacure

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Metastatic breast cancer - too many, just too many

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10 thoughts to “Metastatic Breast Cancer – Too Many, Just Too Many”

  1. Nancy,
    I was very ignorant about cancer before my diagnosis and part of that was because I refused to learn about it — it was too scary. I was also young and thought I had plenty of years before worrying about it. I was the first to survive a cancer in my family. Everyone else had died so when I was diagnosed, I thought I would be next. I didn’t understand how tumors/cells behaved. I didn’t think you could get a breast cancer in your liver, for example.

    I think part of the reason why there isn’t more outrage is because the ones who talk about this are the actual patients or those who have been diagnosed with cancer. We hear each other talk about it and support one another but there isn’t enough education about metastatic breast cancer outside cancerland, partially because people don’t want to know about cancer unless they necessarily have to.

    There’s still a lot of ignorance about cancer. I was almost attacked by a childhood friend who demanded answers about me not removing my breasts. Basically calling my decision to do a lumpectomy dumb. “Don’t you know that by removing your boobs you won’t have to deal with cancer anymore?” she stated. I had to explain things to her but not because I felt I had to explain my decision but because I didn’t want her to spread the ignorance.

    Too many are dying from MBC. I’ve lost a few family members already. I have a friend who is dealing with it now, in her 30’s. She has two children. I fear for my future because stage 4 doesn’t get enough funding.

    Thank you for speaking the truth.

    1. Rebecca, I’m sorry there has been so much cancer in your family. That makes it all the more scary. You’re right, there still is a lot of ignorance, or rather, a lot of misinformation floating around. People want and deserve the whole truth and part of that truth is hearing all voices, including those living with metastatic disease. Too many are dying indeed. I’m sorry about your friend. She is one more reason we have to keep trying to be heard and keep trying to get that funding. Thank you for reading and sharing.

  2. I have a wee recollection that it was mentioned in passing after my stage III treatments ended. It was never made clear enough, and it should have been. I didn’t understand MBC, nor realize the horror of it, until I became metastatic. Far too many, all around the world. You know too well. Much love… always.

    1. Carolyn, I know no one wants to frighten patients about what might happen when they are first diagnosed, so I suppose this is why this kind of thing isn’t mentioned unless of course you’re stage 4 right out the gate, which some are of course. I’m sorry you know about that horror. Too many do. Thank you for reading and commenting. xo

  3. I think that the culture in our society around breast cancer tends to soften its impact as a potentially fatal disease – so people are shocked when they realize how many are still dying. Also, we’ve been oversold on the notion that early detection alone is the answer. Thank you for continuing to speak out about the reality of metastatic breast cancer.

    1. Lisa, You are so right. There is a tendency indeed to downplay the seriousness of breast cancer in our culture. It’s too often portrayed as the ‘easy’ and of course, pretty in pink sort of disease. And yes, we’ve been oversold the notion that early detection alone is what matters. Thank you for reading and commenting, Lisa.

  4. Hi Nancy,

    I think people love the feel-good stories about breast cancer. They love the pink washing. I think, in general, though, our culture is really wanting to stay in the dark about death. We as a culture don’t like talking about it. We as a society don’t want to address it. And I think that this infiltrates how we discuss (or don’t discuss) MBC.

    Posts like yours really help make a difference. Frankly, I’ve been depressed about all the suffering and the deaths. It’s so infuriating to me that this disease wreaks havoc on too many people, people who want to see their kids grow up, people who want to live. MBC is cruel.

    Thank you for an excellent post on a topic that needs more discussion. And as far as the celebrities go, don’t get me started; another hot button for me.

    1. Beth, People do love the feel-good stories. I do too! But this doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t talk about the other kind. You’re right, society shies away from the tough topics much of the time. Thank you for reading and for the support you give to the metastatic community. And yes, the celebrities… I hear you.

    1. Eileen, People do prefer the feel-good story, but this doesn’t mean we should just keep quiet about the ‘not so pretty’ stories. And not enough people will hear them if we don’t all help in the truth telling. Thank you for reading.

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