“The future is not yours,” says Pam Haldeman, who has metastatic breast cancer. “A way to get back a little bit of control is to be your own advocate and get aggressive in researching and going to every conference or retreat available.”
“Most kinds of breast cancer are potentially curable, but metastatic breast cancer is not,” says Kathleen Friel, lab director at the Burke Neurological Institute of Weill Cornell Medicine. “People assume, ‘Oh, you must be fine because you look fine.’ It puts a lot of expectations on us that, if somehow we’re strong enough, then we’ll beat this disease.”
Helping underserved women at the community level can be a crucial step toward reducing deaths from late-stage breast cancer. A grassroots initiative in Florida aims to contribute to that change and inspire the formation of similar groups.
How does a metastatic cancer diagnosis affect families, especially children? CURE® spoke with Kate Watson, a patient ambassador for METAvivor, about the tricky balance of protecting and empowering kids.