It’s your time to get the most from life

Between today’s personalized treatment approaches and the many breakthroughs just around the corner, you have every reason to look to the future.

Health Monitor Staff
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Take a deep breath. If your doctor has told you that your breast cancer has metastasized—that tumor cells have traveled to another part (or parts) of your body—it’s normal to feel overwhelmed. But, as Kristin Todd realized, there is plenty of hope.

“Fear gave rise to hope!”
Just 32 years old and 34 weeks pregnant, a breast cancer diagnosis was the last thing Kristin, a nurse practitioner at UC Davis Medical Center, expected. Two weeks after a mammogram confirmed that the lump in her breast was cancer, she had a lumpectomy and lymph node dissection. A week after that, Kristin was induced and gave birth to Logan Kristopher. And three days later, Kristin had a port placed and went for a PET scan: It revealed metastases to the liver and bone. “It was like the end of my world,” says Kristin. “I had a ton of anxiety and anger and fear. But as the shock subsided and I did research and started my treatment, I realized I’m not a statistic. I realized that there are things I could do on my own to control my disease—and I learned that more treatments are coming out.”

“There are blessings”
The journey she never wanted to embark on has brought some unexpected rewards. “The biggest change in me is I have a lot of hope for a longer life.” She’s also discovered just how deeply she’s loved. “My husband has been with me to every doctor appointment, every chemo treatment. Brian has taken this on as his disease as well. It’s more than I can ask for. It solidifies our vows.”

And Logan—“He gives me something to live for. Some days when I’m down, when I don’t feel like caring for myself the way I should, I just think of Logan and he motivates me.”

“I found balance”
“Although I treasured my time home with Logan, I realized that being at home alone with him, your thoughts do go to dark places. That’s not good for me. Ultimately, I wanted to come back to work. I feel my life’s calling has been caring for people. I love my patients. And being at work helps me get my mind off my own health problems.”

Focus on what you can do
To keep your mind in a positive place, learn about the therapies that can work for you. Ask questions. And rely on your oncology care team for the answers. But take one day at a time.
Start now by settling into your favorite chair with this guide. Whether you recognize yourself, learn something new or simply take comfort, the information in these pages will help you face the days, months and years ahead with confidence. 

November 2014