Larissa’s Fight With MBC

$6,750 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 71 people in 3 months
Read more about my metastatic breast cancer journey: http://www.metastaticallyspeaking.com

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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Wow, this past week has been emotional and unreal. For the past several months I have noticed that thrivers would become quiet on social media, then someone would post news on their passing. I always wondered how so soon? But on Wednesday, April 17th 2018, I went for scans and an already scheduled doctor’s appointment. What I wasn’t expecting to hear is this: “We should start planning end of life discussions.” The nurse practitioner looked at me and realized how shocked I was for those words to pass her mouth. End of life?


Well, yes, I haven’t been having the easiest time lately, but its cancer it’s not always easy. It has been an extremely bumpy road between my recent hospital visit and other moments where I was seeing brighter days. The APRN looked at me and said “you still look as though you have more fight in you.” I said of course, but how do you process this? She said that on Monday, when your doctor returns, we will discuss all the options. She said there are treatment options but they won’t be easy; they could potentially do more harm but they could help, too.


Monday… 5 days away… do I count this as 5 days till judgment day?!? But I began to ask myself, how would I choose to live my life out if it’s only a matter of months. If I have 6 months to live what should I do? Revamp my bucket list and make as many memories as I can. This is not easy on a small budget, without my income and with a husband who building & working for a new non-profit. I have been assisting him with the non-profit while I have been well, but the truth is that we will need support to get us through the duration.


How do you plan a quick last run on a bucket list when currently your days are hit or miss? Since I’ve been struggling, I’ve noticed that the people who surround me the most are my family. So I would love to plan out three more adventures, one with my cousins and family to our pre-booked trip to Barbados with Martin for my cousin’s wedding. If I need a helping hand there, I’ll have family in the room right next door. The next would be to go to Poland, where Martin’s mother has her home. That can stand as home base in case I need to stay put in bed or just stay home and view the mountains from my mother-in-law’s deck with my mother, sister, and Martin & his family. Then hopefully I’ll go to my father’s home for short trips around Florida; once again with that as a home base in case I’m struggling. If by July flying is too much, then we have the RV Martin revamped last year that could take us down and up.


It’s a mixture of the power of distraction and the power of positivity.


But, still, Monday April 23rdis judgment day. If we choose treatment this could move the timing around, but I know I have to plan my memories and moments now.


If you are local to Connecticut and wouldn’t mind helping me put on a fundraiser like a pasta dinner, or just something simple and quick, I would love and appreciate the support! I will also update my go-fund me page soon if anyone would like to support my end of life planning. I’d also enjoy just hearing from you. You’ve heard my hopes and dreams now; I’d love to hear yours.

Next update will hopefully be posted between 4-24-18 or 4-26-18 pending on how I feel.
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$6,750 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 71 people in 3 months
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