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Dear Metastatic Breast Cancer

I have asked you nicely numerous times. I have begged and pleaded for you to stop and to just leave me alone. When you took over my breast in the prime of my life, it was a hard pill to swallow but I accepted it – I thought, this would be the challenge of my life – my hardship – and I would come out stronger. I even thought to myself, many women have fought this fight so why not me too? I naively believed the early detection campaigns, depicting women grinning ear to ear as they run through the finish line, meant I was safe. Well… I’m not so naive anymore and I know now, there is no finish line for me.

Why I ask? Why my brain?

Damn you Metastatic Breast Cancer! You decided my precious breast, that I miss everyday by the way, wasn’t enough. Instead, you moved into the one place where the cytotoxic medicine I take everyday could not find you – my brain. Why I ask? Why my brain? I was such a studious person. I loved school and learning. I did my homework and other’s homework too. I enjoyed it. Who am I kidding, I lived for it! I spent years training to be a psychotherapist so I could work with students. Academics were my refuge, my home. And now, I have not worked a day since you came into my life. All that time and effort seemed wasted. I accepted that too. But you just take take take!

Although it took longer this time, I accepted that you made your way to my brain. I could make sense of it academically. It was a safe place for you to build your home because the medicine can’t pass the blood brain barrier.

Yes I am upset! Of course I am LIVID! I have every right to be!

I hope you are realizing that I have compromised a lot in this relationship. After making it to my brain, you were abruptly removed through an emergency craniotomy. Anything left behind was radiated, along with your little friend. I thought you would’ve got the message. YOU ARE NOT WANTED! THERE IS NO PLACE FOR YOU HERE!  YOU NEED TO MOVE ON! But you didn’t listen.  I just learned a few days ago that you are back with vengeance. I have three new tumors in my brain… so now you asked for it!

Just give me a bit of time to live my life.

I get it, my brain is an awesome place for you – hell I want to live in it forever too, but you are clearly making that impossible. I just don’t understand why you returned so quickly – after only 8 months. Considering what I went through to get rid of you, I think I deserved a longer break. I have heard others who get a break from you for years. Why can’t I get that? I know we are in this for the long haul, you aren’t going away permanently, I’ve learned that much already. I just want a break, that’s it – just give me a bit of time to live my life.

Well regardless, you have met your match. You are relatively small and the mask has been made and the treatment planning is underway. You will be treated with stereotactic radiation, and yes the name is as scary as it sounds, so just give up already please. Beams of light will be used to find, target and ANNIHILATE you from every angle possible.

Please understand that this approach was not my first choice. I’ve asked you nicely, requested, pleaded, prayed, done some non-conventional methods to make you change, but alas there is nothing else left to try but to scare the shit out of you – as you have done to me as many times.

I will always come out ahead, before I go.

You rocked my world again, turned it upside down. I was feeling good, you caught me off guard as you often do to so many of us. I should have know better but the heart wants what the heart wants – mine wanted to feel safe in my body for a little while.  I mean, I was enjoying life to the fullest but I guess I got too comfortable. Never again! Don’t worry.

You robbed me of making plans even within the small two-month window you had previously given me.  Now I can’t even fathom those plans right now. Regardless, I will not be defeated. You may have power over my body and you may even win against it – just not today.  And I will always come out ahead, before I go. I WILL IGNITE A FIRE SO STRONG IN OTHERS TO CONTINUE TO THIS FIGHT FOR ME, for us, for those we have lost and those who are yet to be affected by Metastatic Breast Cancer.  They will find new treatments and eventually a cure. One day, you will be completely annihilated.  Not a trace to be found.  And future generations will only read in textbooks about the plague of Metastatic Breast Cancer that once existed, years and years ago.

Unfortunately Yours,

Jaspreet


You can follow Jaspreet on her Blog and Instagram 

A similar version of this article was previously published on August 26, 2017 on the blog, Living With Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer – Forever Learning, Sharing and Advocating!

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  • At the age of 31 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, it was a shock to say the least, my life was turned upside down. I decided that I would fight like never before, what other choice did I have. My treatment began quickly it included chemotherapy, mastectomy, and radiation. Treatment was done and I was ready to move on with my "new normal", it had been about a year and I was living my life to the fullest - I was given a second chance or so I thought. Then it was discovered that the cancer had metastasized to my brain. I am now living with Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) /Stage 4 and will be in treatment for the rest of my life. All I can hope for now is that my treatments continue to work and that new treatment options become available as time goes on. My blog has been very therapeutic. Writing helps me express my thoughts, feelings while advocating and building awareness about MBC and what is like living with this disease.

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