Facing the statistics: What we can all learn from one mom battling cancer

Metastatic breast cancer final.jpg

This image shows metastasized human breast cancer cells (magnified 400 times, stained brown) in lymph nodes. (National Cancer Institute)

National Cancer Survivors Day has come and gone. This past Sunday was the 28th year set aside to celebrate worldwide the lives of those living with cancer. People came together from all parts of the world to party, from 5 years old to 95 years old.

Celebrating anything and everything is always a good idea, but 40,000 people in the United States die every year from metastatic cancer, so for those like me, it’s a bittersweet half-celebration. We will never be in remission. The word “survivor” does not define us. We will be in the “in-treatment” category until we die.

I found the most original and heartfelt video on Facebook from a very young mother with small children who has metastatic cancer. Please take some time to hear her story— it features statistics that that all of us who have to deal with this chronic disease must live with every day. Indeed, we all have one thing in common: We are time bombs awaiting the explosion.

We are foot soldiers. Our lives are truly on the line. We are in the fight to the end. As Holley points out in her video, if you don’t know what to say to us and you blurt out, “I’ll pray for you,” then DO IT. Pray for us. Pray for cancer researchers to break through the barrier and find drugs that can keep us alive.

Educate yourself. The statistics are that 1 out of every 3 women, and 1 out of every 2 men, will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, so it’s time to stop eating grapes, get off the couch and DO something. Educate yourself about metastatic cancer. Educate yourself about early detection and stop thinking this can’t happen to you. The statistics are not in your favor.

Please visit me at noreenfraserfoundation.org.

Noreen Fraser is living with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. She is the Founder and CEO of the Noreen Fraser Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to funding groundbreaking women’s cancer research. To stay in touch with Noreen, please ‘LIKE’ The Noreen Fraser Foundation on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. Noreen can be contacted via email at noreen@noreenfraserfoundation.org.

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