#Stage4Lifer: A Plane No One Wants to Board
Hear My Voice Volunteer Kristi Stone, on being her own healthcare advocate, educating others and enjoying life to the fullest. Join the #Stage4Lifer campaign with Kristi!
I am one of the faces of metastatic breast cancer. I'm Kristi Stone, a 46-year-old wife and mother of two daughters. Describing what MBC is like is akin to waiting in line to board a plane that no one wants to board. I was diagnosed at age 44, on Christmas Day, 2014, with de novo (or initial diagnosis with) metastatic, or stage 4, breast cancer that spread to my bones, neck to knees, and innumerable lesions in my liver. Being told treatment would not likely work and that I had about 30 days to live, was the biggest shock of my life. I received the news in such a cold, heartless manner at an emergency room, by a doctor who simply gave the news and then just walked away.
I researched and found an oncologist, sure that the doctor at the ER had to be wrong. I wish that had been the news I got, but my initial diagnosis was correct. My new oncologist told me the same thing. I ran out of that office, fell into some sticker bushes crying as hard as I ever have. I went home and tried to gather my thoughts. I went to see my oncologist and asked if we could at least try treatment. We decided to try. I'm very thankful that I did!
I was barely able to walk. I was using a wheelchair most of the time, because I had become so weak. I've felt better with every month I've been on the prescribed oral chemo. The treatment has been very effective for me. I have three brain mets, but they are very small and stay controlled.
I enjoy life as much as possible, finding joy in the simplest things. I try to help others through my advocacy work, reminding folks that a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis can happen to anyone, at any age, even if you live a healthy lifestyle. And that research is our best weapon against it.
My goal is to live with MBC the best I can, continuing a quality life as long as possible. My priorities are spending time with family and friends and pushing for more research for this deadly breast cancer, so that this disease stops claiming thousands of lives a year. I want out of this line, and I don't want to board that MBC plane. I don't want to see anyone else have to get on either.
In the meantime, I will enjoy each day I'm fortunate enough to have, and have the time of my life at every opportunity! Living, laughing and loving.
You heard Kristi's voice. Raise yours. Join #Stage4Lifer on Twitter and Instagram.