Metastatic and moving forward

Metastatic and moving forward

Hi, I am Denni. I am a 66 year old female metastatic breast cancer #lifer #thrivor. I currently reside in Angels Camp, CA. I was diagnosed in December of 1995 with Stage III cancer in my right breast. My mother died from breast cancer when I was 13 and she was 54, so I chose to have bilateral mastectomies in early January, 1996. I had expanders placed during surgery, went through 4 rounds of A/C and 4 of Taxol, followed by 5 years of Tamoxifen.

In 2009 (13 years later) I was having some pain in my hip and was subsequently diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic disease to my bones (numerous places, but pain in hip and back). In 2014, I had to have my gallbladder removed and the surgeon found some spots on my liver which were biopsied and confirmed as breast cancer mets. I have been through most of the available treatments and am waiting from results from the NCI (National Cancer Institute) MATCH trial to see if I qualify for one of their new drugs.

I am currently on Afinitor, Faslodex and have added CBD oil (medical marijuana) and other essential oils to my daily meds. I am not in much pain and am able to function quite normally. I treat this as a chronic disease and don't let it stop me from doing anything. I just spent my birthday weekend in NYC seeing shows with some friends, and have plans for Hawaii in March with some of my family.

My husband was also metastatic from prostate cancer and passed away this year at the beginning of April. Right now, dealing with that is harder than dealing with the cancer. We were married for 45 years. I am coming out of the fog now, but I know the holidays will be a challenge.

I look forward to talking with other Stage IV people, helping, where I can and learning from them too. There is life after that Stage IV diagnosis - I have had 7.5 years so far, and intend to keep moving forward.

9 Replies

  • Dear Denni, thanks for telling your story and welcome to this site. I am sorry for your loss.

    The next time you are in NYC please stop by the SHARE office. We are located in the Times Square area.

    I hope you will find this online community to be supportive. You may also want to join our other online community specifically for women with metastatic breast cancer

    Visit our website to see other services that we offer to women living with MBC. We offer 9 MBC telephone support group sessions per month. It is an opportunity to get information, receive support and to talk with others living with metastatic breast cancer.

  • Hi so sorry for your loss. I am also stage 4 breast cancer metastic cancer in my bones . I am 71 year old female have collapsed vertabrae and spinal compression. have had radiation to spine . 3 years ago. currently experiencing pain in legs and arms. I am caring for my husband with advanced Parkinson. We want to stay in our own home. We have made alterations to accommodate wheelchair and installed a porch lift outside and ceiling lift in the house. We struggling with getting help at home. It goes well for a while and than there is suddenly a shortage of staff and we are on our own again until it is sorted out. I must keep going. I am dreading loosing my husband. I can only imagine what a hole that will leave in my life. Than I worry what will happen to him if I am not here to look out for his interst. Nusing homes are too understaffed here. It is a shame that elderly have to succumb the indignities placed upon them. I have to rust in the the Lord that he will never forsake us. We are very blessed with great family . 3 children and 15 grandchildren. God bless you and hugs from Alberta Canada

  • The loss of a love one is a difficult situation to come to grips with. Some people I know find solace in attending a support group. Here is a list of support group that I found in California on the Psychology Today site:

    There are many other listing you can find online

    GriefShare for one is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. They have a listing of support groups throughout the country You can find them at

    You can also contact your local Visiting Nurses Association and see what they have to offer

    A friend of mine offers web support through her website The Caregiver Space. She is a former family caregiver and founder of The Caregiver Space, website and social network platform designed to provide emotional support and understanding for family caregivers.

    You can also contact SHARE and speak to a caregiver peer who has gone through a similar situation

  • Thank you. I am finding the holidays to be extremely challenging, so I will look into some of your suggestions.

  • You are very inspiring am grateful to you for sharing your story. Glad the CBD and essential oils are in your medicine cabinet. Nature knows best.

  • I'm am sorry to hear about your husband passing. That has to be really hard while you are dealing with your disease. I am glad you are living your life to the fullest while being a #lifer. I too am a #lifer. I was diagnosed stage Iv from diagnosis in 2013 with bone and liver mets. I am doing well as I am NED and 3 1/2 years out. Thank your for sharing your story, it gives me hope to live my life to the fullest with this disease. I am 52 and feel like there is a lot of life ahead of me so I stay focused on that and I am full of hope.

    I wish you the best.

  • Hi dennio-- thank you so much for sharing your story. It's inspiring to hear you're doing so well after 7.5 years! I just wanted to let you know we also have a metastatic breast cancer community, if you're interested in speaking/sharing with more women with mets: Best of luck with the MATCH trial-- let us know the outcome! Sending you lots of well wishes.

  • Yes, I saw that and have joined that community. Thank you for your kind words! I should hear next week about the MATCH trial.

  • Oh good. My pleasure :) Hope it's good news!

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