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Marking Time Again – Year Six

Remembering loved ones who have died always matters. Marking time since they’ve been gone matters too, at least it does to me. I believe doing so honors them. On March 6, 2008 my mother died from metastatic breast cancer. It’s now been six years. Today, and every day, I remember. Today, once again, I “mark time.”

I do not remember and I do not mark time to garner sympathy. I don’t want sympathy.

No, I do so because I want the world to realize that breast cancer is still a deadly disease. It is not about pink and pink ribbons, walks and races, being strong, being brave or winning/losing a battle.

It’s about so much more than trite cliches, simplistic messages and unrealistic expectations.

I do not wish to be all “doom and gloom sounding” either.

No, but I am and will remain a realist.

And the reality is that every year 40,000 women and men die from metastatic breast cancer in the US alone.

This means that since that day in March six years ago, 240,000 more women and men have died from this disease in just the US. This means that 240,000 more families have been impacted by this disease like mine was with the death of a loved one.

No, I do not want sympathy.

I want more conversation about metastatic breast cancer. I want more research dollars devoted to finding answers about how to better understand and some day prevent metastasis. I want less harsh treatments and better outcomes for those dealing with metastatic disease today. I just want better…

This is why I remember.

This is why I will continue to mark time.

By reading this post you have helped me do that.

Thank you.

Note:  For more information about metastatic breast cancer, visit my mets page. For thirteen facts everyone should know about metastatic breast cancer click here. 

We will not forget.

Who do you mark time for?

One of my all-time favorites

One of my all-time favorite photos of my mother and my daughter.

Beth Gainer

Friday 28th of March 2014


I love the photo. Priceless. Marking time is important, and I mark time for those I have lost to cancer. I will not forget about them.

I'm leery about all fundraisers for all types of cancers or any illness for that matter. It seems our society is bent on making every disease a party with walks, festivities, and the like.


Friday 28th of March 2014

Beth, Thank you very much. I know you understand and I know you've lost dear ones too. And no, we will not forget. And yes, I'm leery of those things you mentioned too.

Claudia Schmidt

Friday 14th of March 2014

What a beautiful picture of your mother and daughter, and what a lovely testament of your love for her in this post. xo


Friday 14th of March 2014

Claudia, Thank you.

Jan Hasak

Tuesday 11th of March 2014

Wonderful post, Nancy! I mark time from my stage IV diagnosis. I believe my days are truly numbered from that point onward, and each new dawn I see is a precious sight, indeed. Keep the memories alive; I believe they revitalize a person. I have some memories I've chosen to repress and others that I've chosen to cherish. Keep up the inspiring posts! XOX


Tuesday 11th of March 2014

Jan, Each new dawn is indeed precious, as are our memories of loved ones no longer with us. I'm sorry you have painful memories which you have chosen to suppress, but I suppose we all have some of those. Concentrate on those memories you cherish, my friend. Thanks for reading and sharing. xoxo

Lisa DeFerrari

Sunday 9th of March 2014

Thanks for sharing the beautiful photo of your mom and your daughter. As those staggering numbers show, what is needed is not more pink ribbons but the kind of advances that translate into a meaningful decline in the tragic loss of lives. We can only get there with the necessary funding and coordinated research efforts.


Sunday 9th of March 2014

Lisa, Thank you for reading and commenting. I agree with you whole-heartedly about what is needed and what is not.

Mary K Hunt

Sunday 9th of March 2014

I appreciate the comments that fighting breast cancer is so much more than "pink" anything. I finally had a mastectomy after going through breast cancer more than twice plus treatment, felt fine again and then started on these aromatise inhibitors and cannot find any relief from the head to toe incredible bone pain. Any suggestions for relief or why this happens or how long this will go on (so far almost two years) I would really appreciate. Reading and talking to Oncologists have not helped at all.


Sunday 9th of March 2014

Mary, Some suggest exercise to help with joint pain and other aches and pains. Some suggest Tylenol and that kind of thing. Some suggest switching to a different AI. The main thing is don't suffer in silence. Keep talking to your doctors until they listen to you. Don't settle. And good luck with things.

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