It was March of 2016, I was 30 years old, and nothing could have prepared me for the knee-buckling news I was about to receive. On that beautiful, unseasonably warm day, after having a lump in my breast biopsied, I got the results by phone: “I’m sorry to inform you it is in fact breast cancer. Best of luck.” I was devastated but, knowing very little about breast cancer other than seeing the familiar pink ribbons everywhere, I thought it would be just a blip in my life and I’d carry on as usual.
But on April 27, while I was recovering from a double mastectomy, everything I had learned about breast cancer up to that point was blown out of the water with these words: “Larissa, you have a non-curable form of breast cancer called metastatic breast cancer.” I went from believing all I’d have to face was the surgery, chemo and then maybe radiation to learning that fate had something very different in store for me.
Now, although my life isn’t what I had envisioned two years ago, it isn’t filled with despair and sadness, as many may think. Instead, I believe I have a choice in how I handle my disease – I can either fall into a dark hole or shine brightly. I choose to shine when it’s dark, thrive when it’s difficult, and live -- because I know tomorrow isn’t a guarantee. I share my story to help inspire thrivers like myself, to advocate for more research into MBC to extend my life and the lives of others with this disease, and to make a difference where I can.
Soon after my MBC diagnosis I started my blog Metastatically Speaking, to spread awareness of metastatic breast cancer, and to provide a platform on which to share mine and other thrivers’ stories. I love public speaking and sharing my journey, and have seen the good it can do when educating the world about MBC, since so few people know what it is. Metastatically Speaking became more than a took for education & awareness but a therapeutic tool as well.
Read more about my metastatic breast cancer journey: http://www.metastaticallyspeaking.com
Next update will hopefully be posted between 4-24-18 or 4-26-18 pending on how I feel.
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