October 13th is Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day, dedicated to raising awareness about living with metastatic breast cancer. We want to take this opportunity to acknowledge our remarkable clients living with metastatic breast cancer. Your strength and resilience are an inspiration to us all.
While progress has been made in breast cancer awareness, there’s still a lack of understanding when it comes to metastatic breast cancer.
On the outside, individuals with metastatic breast cancer may appear well, but they are living with an often invisible illness that deeply impacts their lives. Our client Jill’s heartfelt poem, “I Look Well – Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer,” sheds light on the hidden struggles faced by those with metastatic breast cancer.
I Look Well – Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer
I look well and I live with ongoing pain, and numbness and peeling of the skin of my hands and feet.
I look well and I live with overwhelming fatigue that defines what I can do each day no matter how much I rest or exercise.
I look well and I live with nausea, weight gain, and unpredictable diarrhoea.
I look well and I live with negotiating the side effects of the handful of tablets I take everyday.
I look well and I live with constant fear about my next results, or about a new symptom.
I look well and my partner, family and friends live with that same fear.
I look well and I live with the concern that I have become a burden
I look well and I live with playing the part of being ok, strong and positive when I don’t feel it.
I look well and I live with the inability to achieve my plan for long term financial security as my working life was cut short.
I look well and I live with financial distress as I have paid so much in out of pocket costs for treatments that my savings are depleted.
I look well and I live with the knowledge that it is unlikely that I will live long enough to see my grandchildren grow up and become adults. I may not even see them become teenagers.
I look well and I live with people asking if I have finished treatment. They don’t understand that there is no finish to my treatment, without it I will die.
I look well and I live with having to explain to people what metastatic breast cancer actually means.
I look well and I have lived with this for 8 years, 8 years of never being quite able to live my life as I would choose.
I look well, and I live with knowing my disease is incurable
I look well and I will die before my time – I will probably still look well then!
Jill’s powerful poem provides a glimpse into the daily struggles faced by individuals living with metastatic breast cancer. Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day serves as a reminder that while someone may “look well” they are often navigating a complex and changeable health issue on the inside.
At Breast Cancer Care WA, we offer dedicated support to those living with metastatic breast cancer including a specialist metastatic breast care nurse, support groups specifically for those facing metastatic breast cancer, as well as tailored workshops and webinars.