I was starting to relax and think about loosening my shoelaces, when the other shoe suddenly dropped for Carol. We continued to share many things. We compared cancer remedies and research; we painted ceramics together to escape from stress; we went to a retreat for women with breast cancer.But Carol had taken a fork in the road. And now I didn’t know how it felt to walk in HER shoes.The entire landscape had changed. Sensible shoes won’t take you up Mount Everest.Carol’s journey became much more uphill, much tougher, and sadly, much, much shorter.
Women with advanced breast cancer are the bravest foot soldiers in the war against breast cancer but for them the world is not pink ribbons.
I’ve often said having breast cancer is becoming part of the sorority no one wants to join. Often women with advanced breast cancer feel like the sorority step-sisters.
Compared to other breast cancer survivors, they feel less understood, and more ignored. They feel less support, and more isolation, even from other survivors. There are far less women with advanced breast cancer but they need far MORE: support, research, information and awareness.
Since my diagnosis almost 20 years ago, I’ve watched the world explode in pink; but changes in awareness have come more slowly, if at all, for women with advanced disease.
That’s why I’m thrilled that several advocacy organizations have partnered with Novartis Oncology to help bring much-needed awareness, creating a place where women with advanced breast cancer will find others who know how it feels to walk in their shoes. Count Us, Know Us, Join Us is an important step in recognizing women living with advanced breast cancer, their caregivers, supporters, friends, and family. It’s designed to focus more attention and to reinforce that these women do count, plus make available information and resources to make the journey a little easier.
If you know someone with advanced breast cancer or know someone who loves her (and almost all of us do), they will want to learn about Count Us, Know Us, Join Us. I hope you will spread the word.
And remember it could be any of us lacing up those boots; while we’re hoping to see the day when we can throw out the boots, kick off our shoes and go barefoot.