By: New Balance
Posted on October 5, 2015
Eight years ago I was diagnosed with male breast cancer at the age of 48. I had a mastectomy, chemo and radiation, just as a woman with a similar diagnosis might have. I enjoyed nearly 8 years of good health until 2012 when my breast cancer metastasized to my liver, bones and lungs. For a year I have been treated every 3 weeks with two kinds of chemo drugs. So far, I am happy to report that my scans are clean. But as a Stage IV warrior, I know this enemy can rear its head again at any time. Still, I walk every day and am committed to doing my small part in helping others who face this disease.
And just three years ago, our 28-year old daughter was diagnosed. Fortunately because she knew she inherited my genetic mutation for breast cancer, she was being monitored very closely and the cancer was caught early. Our son too has inherited this gene so breast cancer is something that continues to impact our lives every day.
My husband, Lee, was diagnosed with male breast cancer at the age of 48. Survivors are usually thought of those who have beaten the disease. People with Stage IV breast cancer know there is no cure. They live with this disease every day. They are surviving, and hopefully even thriving, but they know breast cancer has the upper hand. In spite of this, my beloved lives every day to the fullest. Since his completion of a clinical trial, being treated with two kinds of chemo every three weeks, he is now able to walk 5-7 miles every day. He is also a mentor to other men who are facing a breast cancer diagnosis. He gives them hope and strength just by exuding his own sense of optimism. He is my hero and makes me grateful for every day.
How is your family involved in the fight throughout the year?
Our family began walking in the Komen 3-Day just six months after my husband, Lee, completed treatment. Since that first 60-mile walk in 2006, we have participated in fifteen 3-Day events, raising more than $300,000 to help find a cure. Additionally, Lee, has served on the local Komen Affiliate Board as an officer. I [Kathy] have chaired the Race for the Cure and was named as Co-Survivor of the Year by Komen in 2010. We fundraise throughout the year, advocate on behalf of men in particular, and support many local initiatives that benefit Komen and the fight against breast cancer.