An update

I have some news to share. And as I shared news of my initial cancer diagnosis 3.5 years ago, I am now sharing this.

367 days ago I received the most devastating news when I was told that my breast cancer has spread.

Once breast cancer spreads to other sites in your body it is known as Metastatic Breast Cancer or Mets. Stage 4. Terminal. Incurable.

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I know it’s shocking. I’m still shocked too and I’ve been living with it for just over a year.
I’m sure you are confused because I “look” healthy. For the most part, I am “healthy” but my body has cancer in it. It is stable now but that can change at any moment.
I am on oral chemotherapy and a variety of other medications that are keeping my cancer stable and me alive. I will go into more detail at another time but the cost of the medication alone to keep me alive per month is around $9000. As there is no cure, I will be in treatment forever.
It’s a really bizarre thing when you are 36 and are diagnosed with a terminal illness. You quickly learn that time is not on your side yet all I want is more time. Time to live. Time to parent my kids. Time to spend time with my husband. Time to make new memories. Time to travel the world. Time to do all the things I planned on doing when I thought I had the time.

I have two concerns with disclosing this information-

The first one is my kids. Please, please, please don’t discuss this information in front of your kids. My biggest fear is that another kid is going to tell my kids their mother is dying or some other incorrect information because they overheard some adults talking My kids know that my cancer is back but they know what is age appropriate for them at 5 and 7. As their mom, I need to protect them and as you can understand this news is scary for them as they are older now than when I was diagnosed the first time.

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Secondly, not many 37-year-olds have metastatic breast cancer. I love my friends, I love being social and I love just hanging out. One of my fears is that I will be treated differently. Please treat me how you would have yesterday or last week when you had no idea you were talking to someone with terminal cancer. I don’t want to be pitied or babied.
You might feel sad or helpless reading this and not sure what to do. Please just treat me the same. Talk to me about life, your kids, shopping, musicals etc. I still love all those things! You can also send me your love, support, and good vibes and know I appreciate all of them.
No one knows how much time we have here on earth but when you learn that your time can be up at any moment it is utterly terrifying. But within this scary, scary time I’m happy. I’ve led a really happy life this past year. I am so grateful to wake up every day. I’m happy to take my kids to school, have breakfast dates with my husband and hang out with friends. We’ve gone on some amazing trips and made wonderful new memories.

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Cancer will always be a part of me but it will never be who I am.
There’s a quote that has resonated with me since my diagnosis:
Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about ❤️

Comments

  1. Jen says:

    Renee, I’m so sorry that your cancer has returned. What can I possibly say? I will keep you and your family in my thoughts. Your strength and honesty has always amazed me. Hope I see you soon and can give you a hug in real life. ❤️

  2. Naomi says:

    I’m sending you love, strength, courage, and know you’re a brave superhero for yourself and your kids and your family.

  3. Alana says:

    I had no idea, Rene. I’m so sorry it’s spread and I’m so blown away by your courage to share your story. You have such a vivacious approach to cancer and life in general. Here is to fighting the fight and continuing to be your inspirational self.

  4. Nadia says:

    Sending love, positive vibes, and prayers as I always have. ❤️ Thank you for being you, inspiration to all women, mothers, and friends!

  5. Tovah says:

    Thank you for sharing. You are so strong. Sending love and support your way xo

  6. Londia says:

    Thank you for sharing. Wishing you well..

  7. Jenn says:

    Hugs girl. You are an amazing person. I know that you can’t beat this, but it will not control you. You will live life to the fullest and I’m here I’d you want to chat

  8. Marlie says:

    Renee, you are a wonder, a beacon of strength, and an incredible person. Sending you love, strength and courage.

  9. You are one of the strongest, bravest people I know…I’m pulling for you and sending you a ton of hugs.

  10. Oh Renee I am so sorry to read this. Sending you love, strength and courage. ❤️

  11. Paula schuck says:

    Giant hugs!! You are amazing and beautiful and fierce too.

  12. Maria says:

    Shitty news, I’m so sorry to hear this. I can only say that you are amazing. I admire your courage, strength, openness and positivity. Sending you love and light

  13. Margarita Ibbott says:

    Sweet, warm hugs. I wish you happy times nad continued memory making with your family. Strength and courage.

  14. Zoe says:

    Renee, I have no words. Your strength and courage are beyond comprehension. As a part of your community we will rise and support you in any way we can. Plus Drew has already told me she is marrying your son, so we are basically family anyhow! Sending love and good energy your way. Thanks for sharing your story.

  15. Joanna Pearl says:

    Renee, I had no idea. I am so sorry to read this. Sending you so much love and strength. Thank you for sharing. You are inspiring to me.

  16. Tara says:

    I’m sorry to hear this xo

    You are such an incredible woman. We’ve never met, but through your blog, IG and FB, I feel like i know you and your family. Sending you love and strength.

  17. Sandy says:

    Just read your post this morning. You are truly an inspiration to us all. You will continue to be in my thoughts as you live your life. Sending you a big hug.

  18. kathy downey says:

    Strength and courage,and after reading this very heart tearing post I know you must be an amazing strong lady.Keep positive,sending you love and strong hugs.xoxo

  19. Deborah C says:

    Renee, I am shocked, of course. Things had seemed so positive after your surgery. This is so wrong. I will keep you in my prayers. Sending love and strength! XO

  20. Lauren Fogel says:

    Thinking of you and your family. Sending you lots of joyous vibes.

  21. Tania2atee says:

    I am so sorry to hear that your cancer has spread. You are so courageous to share this through your blog and I will keep you in my prayers. My cousin also has this, and lives her life to the fullest. I wish that for you and your beautiful family too.

  22. Julie Cole says:

    You are an absolute super star. Xoxo

  23. Ruth says:

    Martha Washington and I just saw this. Know you are in our hearts and prayers.

  24. Nancy T says:

    A friend of mine was diagnosed around the same age as you and 5 years later she’s still going strong. While she does have treatments every 3 weeks and has for years she is #strong and you are too! You are a survivor and can fight this!

    My mom was just diagnosed with breast cancer in August and has just finished treatment 2. We haven’t told our girls yet (9 & 12) because I know it will devastate them – they lost their Nonna 4 years ago to brain cancer so understand how devastating a cancer diagnosis can be.

    Hugs to you!!

  25. One huge hug

  26. Christine says:

    Oh, Renee! I am so sorry to hear that your xancer has returned. Sending you lots of love and strength.

  27. Hey! What happened to the rest of my comment? I wrote more than “one huge hug”

  28. One huge hug

  29. Elana Soroka says:

    Hi Renee, your blog has always been source of inspiration, introspection and entertainment and awe in your amazing mommy-ness. I always feel proud to know you even though our contact is infrequent. May you be blessed with health and happiness from you family and continue to be a source of inspiration to all of us. Lots of love, Elana

  30. Christen says:

    I found your blog through Cat & Nat. I am also a mom living with MBC. I was first diagnosed in April 2012 and then found out in March 2017 that it had spread to my lungs and liver. I am 39 years old with a 3 year old little boy.

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