In 2013, at the age of 39, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. No family history, no major risk factors. It just appeared.
Five years after a bilateral mastectomy, 16 rounds of chemotherapy, 33 rounds of radiation, and breast reconstruction, I have No Evidence of Disease (NED). I went through hell, but so far, I've been lucky. My prognosis was good from the get go. None of my docs were worried. And as of today, no recurrence.
I am attempting to participate in the rebranding of "Breast Cancer Awareness Month" as "Breast Cancer Research Month". Pink crap doesn't do anything for anyone, and I think we're all aware at this point.
What we need is research. Close to one-third of women considered "cured" of breast cancer suffer recurrences and metastatic spread of the disease, often many years after initial diagnosis. Researchers have found some treatments to shrink or slow metastatic tumors, but they're most often temporary. Treatments to eradicate metastasis don't exist. There's no cure for metastatic breast cancer.
So. In honor of Breast Cancer Research Month and in honor of my being alive to run a four mile race (Spook Hill 4 Mile Run on October 20), please consider donating to my fundraiser. All proceeds will go to Metavivor, an organization that researches and supports metastatic breast cancer.