My Metastatic Breast Cancer Story

CarynPhotoLBBC guest blogger and regular volunteer, Caryn Kaplan was recently featured on CBS Talk Philly to discuss her journey with metastatic breast cancer, along with another LBBC friend and woman living with metastatic disease, Jewel. Here Caryn shares her experience doing the segment and why it was important to her to not only share her personal story but share about which has helped her and continues to help her throughout her day to day life by providing information and tools about metastatic breast cancer…

Tuesday had finally arrived!!!  I had waited anxiously for this day….

It all started from an email from Kevin Gianotto, LBBC’s associate director of marketing corporate partnerships.  He had asked if I would be interested in being interviewed on CBS Talk Philly with Pat Ciarrocchi.  The topic was about living with metastatic breast cancer and also about which is an online resource center developed by AstraZeneca with support and input from LBBC and Metastatic Breast Cancer Network (MBCN) which provides tools and information for women living with metastatic disease. I was really excited to discuss this site because it has really helped me through my journey and I was so excited about the opportunity, having been volunteering with LBBC for several years, for yet another chance to get my message out there: that there is life after a metastistic breast cancer diagnosis.  A life that is full and active, one to be lived and enjoyed.

I couldn’t wait!!!

It was a beautiful sunny day in Philadelphia and a great way to start my journey to the CBS studio.  Along with another volunteer, Jewel, who was also being interviewed and we were both given the VIP treatment.  Jewel had previously been interviewed on the show, so she gave me some insight as to what to expect.  We were brought in the “green room”, and the producers explained to us what was going to happen during the interview.  I wasn’t nervous at all.  I knew I could answer any question that was given to me.  After all, I have been traveling this journey for 17 years and have seen cancer from every angle.  Now, being so involved with LBBC and my volunteer work, it allowed me to see another side of the cancer world.  That is, reaching out to others, and helping others throughout their journey with this disease.  It was a dream come true for me to be able to do this segment!

The interview started and Pat Ciarrocchi was so sweet, personal and warm which continued throughout the entire segment.  Jewel and I were so comfortable in her presence; it just made the words that we spoke flow smoothly and effortlessly.  The interview was soon over but the energy and adrenaline inside of me was still there.  I was told it would be aired that Thursday and I couldn’t wait!

To view the CBS Talk Philly Segment click here.

What I really gained throughout this experience was invaluable and I personally learned so much that day.  It was so inspiring and humbling to be chosen to tell my story and talk about on TV, which would reach a huge audience.  Also, meeting Jewel was incredible. We became instant friends and formed a bond that will never be broken.  Thank you again to LBBC, CBS Talk Philly, and yes, also my cancer, which has taught me about “giving back.”

Caryn Kaplan is 53 years old. She lives in Bucks County, with her husband, Paul and two dogs, Maggie and Lexie.   She was initially diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer when she was 38 years old. She underwent a lumpectomy, followed by chemotherapy, radiation, and 5 years of Tamoxifin.  Exactly 5 years later, she had a recurrence of her breast cancer and this time, she had a mastectomy, followed by chemotherapy.  Once again, she was on Tamoxifin for 5 years.  After finishing the Tamoxifin, two weeks later she was diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic breast cancer that spread to her liver and bones.  She is currently undergoing chemotherapy.  Caryn lives a full life and  she has two grown children, one living in Minnesota and the other in California.  She spends her time with her loving husband, traveling to see her children, her parents and her brother and his wife who live in Florida.  After her last diagnosis she retired from her full time job, and decided to fulfill her lifelong dream of helping others.  She volunteers for Living Beyond Beast Cancer regularly, helping us achieve our mission.  She also is very active in her community, helping and reaching out to others who are affected by this disease.  She is very fortunate that her journey with cancer has allowed her to “pay it forward” with the empowerment to help others.

 Please note, that from now until the end of May, you can plant a flower in the online at the Inspiration Garden to celebrate a special woman’s legacy, read accounts from women living with MBC and create a customized photo book of cherished memories to share with family and friends. 

On Friday, July 25, LBBC will be hosting a free webinar on Metastatic Breast Cancer: Understanding and Finding Clinical Trials. Visit the page for more information and to register. (Registration will open late May to early June.)


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