Metavivor. Living with Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer.
I was first diagnosed Stage 2b ER+ HR- Breast Cancer in October of 2012, one month before my 46th birthday. I spent that next full year in treatment: Chemo, right Mastectomy w/lymph nodes, Chemo, and Radiation. I went on Tamoxifen for the next 3 years. At this point, my Oncologist changed medical groups and they no longer took my insurance, so, since I had technically "beaten it", I did not seek another Oncologist. For most of 2017 and part of 2018, I was in constant lower back pain and had an annoying dry cough that simply would not go away. My general Physician kept tossing muscle relaxers and pain killers at me while refusing to order a simple x-ray. I also had a perfectly round bump on my back between my shoulder blades that he 'guessed' was a bug bite and offered me some cream. He felt I needed to change my diet and exercise more. As for the cough, he decided after 30+ years I must be allergic to my cats, and gave me some Allegra... I was not allergic to my cats. In June of 2018, I ended up in ER with extreme upper abdominal pain that turned out to be a failing gall bladder. During the course of the CT scan, they discovered that my cancer had come back, metastasized to my bones (skull to thigh bone), and I had pleural effusion in my left lung. Basically, over 1 liter of fluid in the sac around my lung, and was lucky it had not collapsed. This fluid also tested positive for Breast Cancer. Oh, and that bump on my back, was a tumor! I am a living example of why you must be your own advocate with doctors and push push push to get someone to hear you. YOU know your body better than anyone else and when you think something is wrong, it probably is! Now, a year later, I am on hormone therapy (Letrozole w/Ibrance) and feeling like crap. Fatigue like no one's business, achy all over like a body full of arthritis, gaining weight and depressed as all get out. I feel very angry that my doctor misdiagnosed me for a year and a half, and that when in early-stage cancer no one prepared me for the possibility of stage 4, they just kept telling me I had beaten it. I was a warrior! Pffft!