"I'm Terri and have been diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer and Invasive Ductal Carcinoma with spinal bone mets (stage IV) from the start in 6/09. With Inflammatory, chemo is the first treatment before surgery or radiation. I did 8 months of TAC chemo and a bi-lateral mastectomy a year later. I'm ER+ so [I] was placed on Femera and Zometa for the bones. My PET scans were stable for 4 years before recurrent bone mets and a lymph node started popping up. I was then switched to Aromasin and Afinitor and Xgeva for the bones. I did not tolerate Afinitor too well and showed more bone mets the year that I was on this treatment, so we dropped the Afinitor. I will wait for another PET scan result to see my status before switching again to new treatment such as Faslodex.
"The hardest part: Knowing this is not curable and that I may not see my son marry and have his own children. I have however been very blessed to see him graduate from high school and entering college.
"What helps the most: Due to having stage IV; I know my medical team will watch me closely. I have PET scans every 3 months if anything shows up on them and every 6 months if they are clean. I know my doctors can address issues early when they arise, which has kept me alive and well for 6 years now.
"What have people done that is helpful: I have some wonderful friends and family that offer me support, even taking me out for lunch or flying me home to Chicago from the west coast to see my brothers and sisters. One of my sisters and my niece came out for 3 weeks to help me with surgery. I've even had strangers who gave me flowers when they heard I was diagnosed. I am totally amazed by the kindness of people, especially strangers. This community site has been especially helpful for each part of this journey. You can actually communicate with others going through the same procedure and get tips on handling a treatment or surgery. You don't feel alone.
"[The picture is] my son and I when he went to his senior ball this year!"
-- Terri, 6 years metastatic