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Resource for Advanced Breast Cancer

Posted 3/25/2013

Posted in

  Very reluctantly, I came home from Africa and am trying to settle into my normal life. Don't misunderstand: I love my normal life, but I think I left a chunk of my heart in Africa. As you know, if you have been reading the blogs over the past week, I had an incredible time, and am sifting through and treasuring all memories. As I sit here at my desk in Boston, I can shut my eyes and see those Southern hemisphere starts--the black night so filled with glowing brightness that there literally seems not to be an empty space for another to shine. I can remember the mother cheetah teaching her three cubs to hunt: slowly she stalked a vigilant Sprinkbok (who easily got away), watching the three little ones get in single file line behind her, obviously patterning their behavior after hers, watching her and trying to mimic here. I remember the slumbering lion pride, and the leopard leaping over a wide stream, and the sounds of the dawn as millions of birds awakened the and welcomed the day.

  Back to business here. This entry is an attempt to hold on a bit to my trip as Musa Mayer, whose website I am about to describe, was at the meeting in Cape Town. She and I had met at various breast cancer conferences before, but it was a pleasure to see her again and learn more about her work. A breast cancer advocate from New York, she has devoted herself to developing resources and supports for women with advanced breast cancer. As we know, they are often a forgotten minority, and their needs are great. She has a terrific website; here is the introduction and a link:

Welcome to is dedicated solely to the needs of people living with metastatic breast cancer.  Here you will find links to online resources, information about research and treatments, and the perspectives of Musa Mayer, long-time advocate and author.

What to do when you're newly diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer 

Finding out that breast cancer has recurred or spread beyond the breast is always a terrible blow. Almost all breast cancer patients know already that this means their prognosis, which may have been good, is no longer nearly as hopeful. They've been told that while it is treatable, their cancer is no longer curable. Unless they've known others with metastatic breast cancer, they may even assume that a recurrence signifies imminent death. It takes time, accurate information and support to work through these early reactions.. (From  The Shock of Recurrence)

Most people find they want and need three thingsabove all as they struggle to process the bad news:

  • Information: They want good information that will lead to the best possible medical care.
  • Support: They need emotional support from those they love, and to share with others who are living with the disease, and to hear what it's been like for them. 
  • Hope: They want to learn about research and new treatments that hold the promise for extending the lives of women with metastatic breast cancer.  They also need to learn that it is possible to live with the disease, and live well, for whatever time they will have. 
  •  A good place to start is First Clicks
  • Check out the new Facebook Page for the latest MBC research news and events


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