Your questions answered about Metastatic Breast Cancer

Your questions answered about Metastatic Breast Cancer part 1

I’ve been getting a lot of questions from people about Metastatic Breast Cancer and what it means so I thought that I would answer them in a post. If I didn’t answer your questions yet, don’t fret, there will be more posts coming because I’ve received so many wonderful questions. Please, if there’s something you would like to know, feel free to leave a question in the comment or you can send me a DM on Instagram. I’m happy to answer any/all questions!

What exactly is Metastatic Breast Cancer (Mets)?

Metastatic Breast Cancer is cancer that originated in my breast and then spread elsewhere. Often Mets spreads to bones, lungs, liver and brain. Mine has spread to my bones (not all. Just some bones) 

Were you diagnosed with Mets from the beginning?

No, I wasn’t. I was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in 2015. I received my Mets diagnosis in Oct 2017. 

I thought you beat it the first time?

As far as we knew I did. But the crazy thing is that after I was finished with chemo, my double mastectomy and then radiation, my doctors didn’t do any scans. My oncologist said it is standard of care to not scan post treatment. As far as they were concerned I responded very well to my treatments and was getting my life back into order. 

How long will you be in treatment for?

As long as I’m alive, I will be in treatment. 

What treatments are you on?

Currently, I take a drug called Ibrance. It’s very, very expensive and its job is to help stop cancer cells from growing and dividing. I also take Letrozole, as my cancer is hormone positive to help decrease the estrogen in my body. I take a monthly Zoladex shot which puts me into medically induced menopause. I also get a monthly shot called Xgeva which is a bone strengthener. I also take Calcium and Vitamin D daily. 

What are the side effects of those medications?

I get hot flashes sometimes and can become irritable. I do get some bone stiffness but thankfully overall I have very little side effects

Is there a cure for Mets?

At this time no. I hope every day, with the advancements in medicine, there will either be a cure or medications that will keep me stable for many, many years. 

If there’s no cure, and you are on medication for the rest of your life, how does that work?

Pretty simple actually. I get scanned regularly now. And as long as my cancer is stable I will continue taking the medications that are currently working for me. One day, they are expected to stop working. No one can predict when that will be. But when that does happen, I will switch medications and hope that the new medications will then stop my cancer from growing making it stable once again. Sadly, at this time this will continue to happen until one runs out of options. 

 Are you in pain?

At this time, I am not. When I was diagnosed with Mets, I was in pain and had 10 rounds of palliative radiation on some of my bones. It helped immensely and took away the pain. As my breast cancer has spread the radiation isn’t used so much as to kill the cells, as my previous radiation to my breast and chest area, but to zap them to decrease the pain I was experiencing 

I’m going to stop the Q&A here today. I will continue to share and answer your questions. Thank you for being curious and wanting to learn more. I love that I’m able to share and educate others about this through my blog. 

Thanks for all of your continued love and support. I’m a real lucky lady to be surrounded by some many caring people. 

 

 

 

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