A story from MyMBCStory.com, a program brought to you by AstraZeneca
When you’re diagnosed with cancer, especially the type that you know you’ll live with for the rest of your life, it’s easy to let the fear take over and focus on just getting through each day. Doris Ann Price, who has been living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) for the last 9 years, believes that the most important thing is to live life one moment at a time, discover who you are and live each day fully and authentically.
Having lived with the most advanced stage of breast cancer that has spread to other areas of her body for nearly a decade, Price also feels very strongly that people should be their own best advocate and take charge of their health with responsibility and with grace. That may mean you educate yourself to make sure you understand how the disease is affecting your body or it could mean that you ask questions when you don’t understand or have a different opinion than your doctor’s recommendation, even if it’s scary or uncomfortable.
Price took her own diagnosis with metastatic breast cancer as a wake-up call to embrace every day as though it was the first day of the rest of her life. Price has actively educated herself so she can best manage her MBC and get the most out of every day. This means that she has pushed herself to learn as much as possible about her disease, including her hormone type. Knowing her hormone type has helped Price and her medical team identify the best ways to treat her particular form of breast cancer. Since Price is actively involved in treatment discussions, she works closely with her doctors to make informed decisions about her care.
Another challenge of living with metastatic breast cancer, is the sense of isolation and loneliness that often accompanies this disease. Many people have an idea of what breast cancer means based on the wealth of information available about early stage breast cancer, however, they don’t understand the unique challenges that those living with metastatic breast cancer face. This can make it difficult to find a strong support system throughout their MBC journey. Price believes that talking about her own experiences with other women who have MBC is the best way to combat the feelings of isolation she experiences along this journey.
“It’s very important that women share their story with other women on this journey, because metastatic breast cancer is very isolating ... everyone feels like they’re unique and that no one could possibly understand,” Price said.
Price aims to inspire and provide hope to the estimated 175,000 women currently living with metastatic breast cancer by sharing her personal journey with MBC, and encourages others facing similar challenges to share their stories of living with the disease. Price feels that sharing these personal experiences and challenges can be therapeutic and also help those living with metastatic breast cancer feel more comfortable with their diagnosis.
A diagnosis of MBC can be challenging and create physical, mental, and emotional obstacles. Price’s story reminds others living with MBC that they are not alone and there is power in numbers. Sharing common experiences and learning from each other about what may help along their MBC journey empowers those living with MBC to proactively manage their disease so they can live life fully and celebrate every moment.
To show support for women like Doris who are living with MBC, AstraZeneca launched the nationwide #MBCStrength photo and story-sharing campaign.
If you are living with MBC, share your own journey with MBC by visiting the MyMBCStory Facebook Page and posting your own photo and/or story. Photos posted on the Facebook page will be considered for a display in Times Square on Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day, October 13, 2015.