My name is Deb Ragosta and I am a patient at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center in Milford. In February, 1990, I was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer. I was 35 and the cancer was found on my first mammogram. I went through the standard treatment at the time (lumpectomy and radiation). I participated in a clinical study on which I received tamoxifen for 5 years. As the years went by, it was easier and easier to believe I was cured.
In October, 2009, I injured my back and an x-ray revealed a “suspicious” lesion on my spine. Further testing and biopsy revealed the breast cancer had metastasized to several spots on my back and one on my skull. I went from a woman who was “cured” to a woman who will live with breast cancer for the rest of her life.
Through this blog, I hope to share information with my metsisters and brothers and anyone needing information about metastatic breast cancer. I am not a physician, so medical posts will be links to articles written by the medical experts. My primary goal, however, is to share my thoughts about being a woman living with metastatic breast cancer. Advocacy can take many forms and sharing my story is the best way I can advocate for those living with metastatic breast cancer. Too many people think there is a cure and too many are dying because there isn’t. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Most people know that, but how many know that October 13th is Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day?
It’s easy to talk the talk, but much harder to walk the walk. We need to move forward to keep our eyes on the prize – finding the CURE that will save more than 40,000 lives every year in the United Stated.
Yes, 155,000 women and men are living with breast cancer in America, but our work will not be finished until no one is dying from it!
DON’T STOP BELIEVING!