Tomorrow. Next week. Next year. With today's personalized treatment approaches and breakthroughs just round the bend, you have every reason to look to the future.
Relax. Take a deep breath. Give yourself a chance to process the news. After all, if your doctor has told you that your cancer has metastasized—that tumor cells have traveled to another part (or parts) of your body—it's normal to feel overwhelmed.
But you'll soon see that life goes on—even with metastatic cancer. Remember: Although it may not be curable, metastatic cancer is treatable, and you can live many years with the disease, just as you might with a chronic condition such as heart disease. So that special birthday, your child's wedding, the birth of your grandchild...don't count it out.
You may also find comfort in the knowledge that you are not alone in this fight. Your healthcare team understands your unique needs, and with the many effective treatment options now available, they are up to the challenge. They know your symptoms can be quite different from those experienced by people with early-stage cancer, and that your treatment goals are different, too.
Of course, those closest to you will offer their love and support. But don't forget all the other people out there, just like you, who are coping with the challenges of metastatic cancer—people who "get" you and who are available to support, encourage and applaud you, in support groups, on blogs, on message boards and on this site.
No doubt, your thoughts and emotions will take on new weight as you consider your treatment options and what they'll mean to you and your loved ones. To stay in a place of "calm," try focusing on what you can do now…today. Learn about the therapies that can work best for you. Ask questions. And rely on your oncology care team for the honest answers you deserve. But take one day at a time.
We've asked the experts—doctors, other healthcare professionals and people with metastatic cancer—to shed light on the issues that may concern you most.