After 19 years cancer free, I became very ill in February of 2021. I was hospitalized thinking it was COVID-19, but after many tests and studies, found out it was metastatic breast cancer. I was shocked to say the least, but then learned it could be treated. I am most grateful for the opportunity to be able to receive IBRANCE therapy and have been taking it for the last year. My scans have showed no progression of the disease.
Since my diagnosis of breast cancer in 2002, the PA Breast Cancer Coalition has been here for me, offering support. I truly enjoy volunteering and, of course, taking part in the annual conferences where I often speak about my experience. My dear friend Pat Halpin-Murphy, the PBCC President, has always been there for me. I appreciate her phone calls and all the kindness she shares to all survivors.
When I was asked to be on the metastatic breast cancer (Friends Like Me2) care package committee, I was happy to work with the other two women who had MBC. I had just found out about my own metastatic diagnosis, and I wanted to be able help others in the same situation. It was a great experience learning what the other ladies were going through and we had a great deal of discussion as to what the care packages should contain. One of the items we all agreed would be helpful was lotion as some of the cancer medication can cause dry skin.
We talked about preparing legal documents and the the need for articles and information that members could have to read and learn more about metastatic breast cancer. Serving on the care package committee was so fulfilling. We were able to share our needs and items that could help breast cancer survivors on their journey. It was a very rewarding experience for me.
I want other women diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer to know that they can receive assistance, care and kindness from family, friends and the PBCC. We’re all sisters. We are all here for each other. I have had many of my sisters come to visit, call me and want to know how they can help. Truly they have been here for me.