In 2008, Kelly Shanahan had everything going for her: a busy and successful OB-GYN practice, a precocious 9-year-old daughter, and a well-used passport from traveling all over the world with her family to attend conferences, with a liberal dose of vacation on the side.
When she was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer in April, she considered it a mere bump in the road. And for 5 years, breast cancer was an aside, something to put in the past medical history section of forms. Even when she developed sudden back pain, Kelly never thought it could be breast cancer rearing its ugly head. She thought it would be a pulled muscle, a herniated disc maybe, but not what it turned out to be: metastatic breast cancer in virtually every bone in her body. Kelly was diagnosed in 2013, on her 53rd birthday.
Neuropathy from the chemo cost Kelly her career, but she found a new purpose in advocacy. Kelly is on the board of METAvivor, a member of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance, a Susan G. Komen Advocate in Science, a grant reviewer, and a research advocate. She is passionate about getting patients to the table in the design, implementation, and follow up of clinical trials. Follow her on Twitter @stage4kelly.
Kelly Shanahan is a mother, a wife, a daughter, a doctor, a woman LIVING with metastatic breast cancer.