We Have Stage Four Cancer: Does That Make Us Terminal?

September 25, 2014 4:00 PM

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We Have Stage Four Cancer: Does That Make Us Terminal?

More than eight years after being diagnosed with breast cancer, my friend Brigid died of the disease earlier this month. In the wake of her death I found myself thinking a lot about my own mortality. (As these things go.) I've been living with advanced breast cancer for more than three years now, the last 10 months in remission. But the average life span for someone with my illness is still 26 months. I've never thought of myself as terminal, but many people will describe this disease with that word. I began to wonder if I was just being wishful in my thinking.

I reached out to a group I belong to online, a support group for people with metastatic/stage 4 breast cancer to pose this query: Question for you all: how many of you think of yourselves as "terminal"? I don't know if I'm just a naive optimist or blindly mistaken but it's just never been a line of ...

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