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Women's Health - Avery stresses the importance of living life with laughter and love

Local women share stories of strength, courage and survival

Posted

At age 38, I was diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) in both breasts, hip, T2 of my spine and liver in 2014. When I was diagnosed my daughter was 2 years old.

I did 6 rounds of Chemo Therapy, Herceptin and Perjeta, which seemed to work. I was declared to have No Evidence of Disease (NED) from the neck down after treatment. That is until the little buggers reared their ugly cancerous lesions/tumors again in 2016 when I was 41. I received my second diagnosis of Stage IV Metastatic HER2+ Breast Canc

er with Brain Metastasis.

While I am NED from the neck down, from neck up is a different story.

2016 was not a good year because of my MBC and with this second diagnosis I've had:

1) A craniotomy

2) Went on a clinical trial, which failed after 4 months

3) Have done Whole Brain Radiation Therapy (WBRT)

4) Was taken off Perjeta

5) Was doing only Herceptin, but before the 2016 Christmas holiday, my second opinion breast cancer oncologist switched me to Kadcyla IV drug

7) Finished my eighth session of SRS Radiation booster the afternoon of 2.2.2017 to kick start these buggers into shrinking or dying - preferably dying.

I want them to go away!

I feel like I'm a young wife who was able to celebrate my seventh wedding anniversary in May. I'm a young mom with a mini princess who turned 5. I should be looking forward to celebrating many more years with my family, but am fearful of this MBC disease. I worry even more today because I lost a fellow MBC sister today. A bright light on this world, a good soul taken too soon!

My goal is to be around for my husband and daughter, but reality wants to tell me otherwise.

I'm not buying it! We have an amazingly fun life and I want to continue on that road.

I know I don't have control over this disease, but I will keep charging ahead and push for more treatment options, more drugs approved to be effective and/or fast tracked by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and hope that more lives will be saved from this currently terminal disease.

Live, laugh and love - that's our family motto and I'm sticking to it. I will live every day I have on this earth to the fullest and every day will be well into the future.

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