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#MetsMonday – Share Your “Spark”

As another new year gets underway, I’ve been reading a lot about resolutions and goals; I’m sure you have been too. You might even be growing tired of reading about such things. I hope not, though, as I’ve got a post coming on this too.

One thing I plan to keep on doing this year is advocating for increased awareness and understanding about metastatic breast cancer, including the need for further research specific to it.

I’m driven.

How could I not be?

I started blogging over two years ago primarily to share about my own breast cancer experience, as well as the topic of loss and grief, among other things. Blogging is about sharing. We bloggers tend to bare our souls. This is part of the reason why the bonds between bloggers and readers grow to be so strong, at least in the breast cancer blogosphere. This is also part of the reason why every new mets diagnosis and every loss matters to all of us. In a very real sense, we are all in this together.

Somewhere along the way in this blogging gig, I turned into an advocate. This wasn’t in my original plan. Now, I realize it was really part of the plan all along, I just didn’t know it at the start.

My friend Rachel of The Cancer Culture Chronicles helped bring out my inner advocate. One of the many things she taught me was to push myself, to step out of my writing comfort zone. Rachel’s advocacy sparked mine. I continue to learn from her voice even now.

And then, of course, there is my mother’s experience with metastatic breast cancer. Since it was her experience, it was also mine, partly so anyway. I remember everything about that time.

How could I not?

We’ve made some pretty substantial progress in bringing metastatic breast cancer out of the shadows thanks to the work of many. Check out my Mets page for some great mbc resources and also for a list of blogs written by individuals living with mbc. 

This brings me back to #MetsMonday and why it matters.

Part of being a #fearlessfriend is also being a #fearlessadvocate. (These are Twitter #BCSM hashtags. Here’s a link to learn about #BCSM).

I want #MetsMonday to be another safe haven for anyone, with or without mets, to share, learn, vent, rant, cry, advocate or just lurk. I know it’s a small campaign. But I will use whatever platform I have because I believe it all matters. I have to. And just like every voice matters, every little step matters too, and you never know where even little steps might lead.

This is why I will also continue to use my blogs, here and on Huffington Post, as vehicles through which to speak out about metastatic breast cancer whenever I can. I will encourage others to do the same. I will use social media to spread the word whenever I see fit. I will keep speaking with those who will listen. I will just continue.

How can I not?

So join me on #MetsMonday, or any day, because it’s not really about just one day of the week. Share on my page or on yours if you have one. If you are living with mets or not, share something mets related on #MetsMonday. Share a post from one of the many wonderful bloggers living with and writing about mets. Or share your story, concerns, frustrations or fears. Ask questions. Answer questions. Share your voice. Share your passion. Use the hashtag.

Share your spark.

We have to keep this “fire” going.

Are you living with metastatic breast cancer or do you know someone who is?

Who or what sparked your advocacy?

Do you have a post you have written (or that someone else has written) that you would like to share? If so, please feel free to share the link.

#MetsMonday - Share Your Spark

Tammy

Monday 5th of January 2015

This time last year I knew of only one person with breast cancer. And I did not know her well. This year I am surrounded with my own breast cancer diagnosis and now connected with this woman because she "gets" it and another friend with stage IV at the very beginning, along with a young woman in our community that is on the verge of death, and yet another woman who was recently diagnosed with stage IV uterine cancer . It surrounds me and the question is? What can I do to make a difference ???? As a nurse should I make a change in my speciality , start a fundraising event , or maybe a support group that is not available in my local community. Lots of ideas, where to start!!! First and foremost making myself available to help others in need , the rest will evolve as I give !!!!

Nancy

Monday 5th of January 2015

Tammy, I'm sorry you now know so many... Sorry to hear about your own diagnosis too. Where to start? That's a great question. I love your idea of starting a support group. Find something that moves or inspires you and then go with it. Every form of genuine advocacy matters. Good luck with everything and thank you for sharing.

Ginny Knackmuhs

Monday 11th of February 2013

Hi Nancy I really appreciate your Mets Monday focus and wanted to share this reblog that MBCN did of Laura Nikolaides opening speech at the recent Collaborative Summit on Breast Cancer Research. It was a wonderful meeting--gave me hope that the need for coordinated metastatic research is slowly being recognized by major funders. Thanks, Ginny

http://mbcnbuzz.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/the-long-view-of-breast-cancer-research/

Nancy

Tuesday 12th of February 2013

Ginny, Thank you for stopping by and for sharing the link. Mets matters. Every day.

Beth L. Gainer

Monday 4th of February 2013

Nancy,

Excellent post, and it is wonderful how you are bringing the problem that is metastatic breast cancer to the world's light. Rachel really opened my eyes as well.

It seems that so many of us know one or more people who have died from MBC. It's a rampant epidemic. I attended a conference on metastatic breast cancer; here's the post, which I believe you read:http://bethgainer.com/moving-forward-with-metastatic-breast-cancer/

Thank you for being so honest and for taking up this cause.

Nancy

Tuesday 5th of February 2013

Beth, Thanks so much. Your support means a lot. And yes, I did read your post. Attending that conference must have been such an incredible experience. Thanks for sharing your post about it here.

Beth Thompson

Friday 18th of January 2013

Nancy, Your writing and advocacy never disappoint! As someone who is seeing too many young metastatic patients, (notwithstanding the fact that ANY is too many), I have to say the MBC world (as well as the writing world) is lucky to have you. Beth

Nancy

Friday 18th of January 2013

Beth, Thank you for reading and for your kind words. Mets is a "cause" near and dear to my heart for many reasons.

Chris Jones

Wednesday 16th of January 2013

Hi Nancy. I have to reiterate Susan Zager’s comments. I lost my wife due to MBC sixteen years ago and still miss her each and every day. The Internet was then in its infancy and although there were some local ‘networks’ there was no way of sharing information and experiences globally.

Thanks to advances in technology we can now converse with ‘like minded’ people all over the world. You Nancy, are doing a wonderful thing by being a #fearlessfriend and #fearlessadvocate to all those who care to join in by blogging, tweeting, or just commenting and sharing information.

Thanks to #MBCAWARE, #BCSM and #BCCEU it has become easier for people to find others with whom they can share their experiences, hopes and fears. Help is always at hand from the wonderful people who make up the online #cancer community and 'Mets Monday' is an excellent way to encourage interaction between sufferers and all those affected by MBC.

Sixteen years ago, I was hoping for a breakthrough in the treatment of this dreadful disease. Progress has been painfully slow and the number of women diagnosed with MBC is still far too high. Although we all appreciate that cancer is a very complicated disease, more has to be done to publicise the need for more research and better treatments.

Being part of the global community that is trying to change things for the better is a privilege.

Chris (@Chris_Jones49)

Nancy

Thursday 17th of January 2013

Chris, It means so much that you took time to comment on this post. It brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for your very kind words. I'm so sorry you lost your wife to mbc and of course you continue to miss her sixteen years later. The impact of loss lasts forever. I'm so glad you are part of this online community. I hope it helps bring you comfort, and yes, it is a privilege to be part of a global community trying to change things for the better isn't it? And we do need to do better on so many fronts. Thanks again, Chris. Thanks for all your tweets as well. Your support is much appreciated. My best.

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