Living THROUGH my breast cancer timeline

This entry was written by Debra Strauss. Diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer 18 years ago, she speaks a story of hope and prevail for women who need assurance that there is LIFE after metastatic breast cancer.

It’s been HOW long?

Breast cancer sucks. Period.  I was diagnosed with stage I breast cancer when I was 35.  My children were 9 months old and 3½ years old.  I thought I was going to die.  But I muddled through.

At 40 I was diagnosed with mets to bone.  I thought I was going to die. But I battled through.

By age 50, my doctors found cancer in my other breast. By then, I didn’t think I was going to die immediately. But I did have a bilateral mastectomy.  And I waltzed through.

At 55 I walked 60 miles in the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk to celebrate TWENTY YEARS of LIVING with breast cancer. And I walked and walked and walked through.

Two years after that walk, at 57again the cancer spread to other bones.  By this time, I knew I was going to die.  But I also knew that it wasn’t going to be anytime soon. I’m 58— actually 58½.  If you’re reading this you probably understand how important those 1/2 birthdays are – I celebrate every one!   

I’m still muddling and battling and waltzing and walking and thriving. You can manage your life! Live your life!

Take control of your life! Here’s what I do…

  • Meditate ( highly recommended)
  • Pretend to exercise
  • Try to eat sort-of-kind-of healthfully
  • Appreciate pretty skies and happy days
  • Get aggravated about dumb things ( just like anyone else)
  • Feel thankful as often as I remember
  • Love my family and friends
  • Laugh a lot (mostly at me)
  • Remember to breathe and appreciate life minute by minute

That’s pretty much it. Not much different than what most people try to do, right?  Even though breast cancer makes us different than most people, what we want in life is no different from what someone who doesn’t have breast cancer wants in life.  We want to live our lives in peace and happiness. And it’s my responsibility to make sure that happens for me.  

Share your breast cancer timeline with us! Comment here or on our facebook page and share your story of triumph!

13 thoughts on “Living THROUGH my breast cancer timeline

  1. What a wonderful story and I just love how grounded Debra is. Sometimes the pressure to be and do more than you feel able to is huge for us, but as Debra implies here, cut yourself some slack. Do the best you can and then let it go but above all, love, laugh and enjoy your life moment by moment.

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  3. As the mother in law of a metestatic breast cancer survivor I thank you for your inspiration and strength. I truely believe that if we stay positive and take each day as it comes, great things can be acheived. Stay grounded, keep striving and achieve anything you put your mind to.

  4. Deb

    From the moment I met you and since-you have been an inspiration to me and so many others. I have been through only a fraction of what you have had to deal with and I am in awe of you and your strength through your battle with this wicked disease. Your story will give hope to so many gals who are having trouble coping with their diagnosis and treatment. Thank you for sharing your story with others. Love you sister!

  5. What an important reminder that breast cancer SUCKS but there are women who survive and thrive and move forward. It’s difficult to do the first or second time around — thank you for sharing this!

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  7. It’s been 8+ years for me with mets to bone (and now to liver). I’ve been fortunate that my cancer has been well-controlled so far. I am looking forward, like Debra, to being on the far end of the survival curve.

  8. amazing how cancer changes your thinking but how everything else is the same…outlook is what is important…this survivor has a good one…i like these encouraging stories

  9. Debra I know exactly how you feel .I was diagnosed in1986-stage 4(felt the lumpin1981 but was not diagnosed properly).Have so many bone mets cannot count them all and las year at age63 got liver mets and am still moving on each day.I hope our long term survivorship is encouraging to all women out there no matter what stage they are at-don’t let statistics get you down- live each day to you fullest.

  10. Good timing. I was diagnosed in April 2009 at age 33 with a 3 and 4 year old kiddos at home with me. I had a me to my liver at diagnoses, it was radiatd the heck out of there. I have been on Herceptin and thought I was free and clear. I was N.E.D. exactly one year in April 2010. Before christmas, I had two brain mets. Herceptin doesn;t go there but my very agressive grade cancer did. I am on a new drug, got those bugs radiated and looking to have my follow up MRI tomorrow morning. It is weird to be doing things to prepare for when I might die. No, it isn’t tomorrow. But, yes, my husband may end up doing those tough teen years solo. so we are preparing for whenever when we all are feeling alright. I have walked two of the one days Race for the Cures and play to fill the bil of my hat with tiny little pink ribbons.

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