What Greater Gift Than Recognition?

12/05/2012 12:28 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2013

I believe we can herald 2012 as one of the greatest exposures for stage IV breast cancer of this century. I wasn't suffocated by the "pink haze" this year. Even Komen finally came out with a stage IV ad... a monumental feat for us! I thank Nancy Brinker for opening her eyes, even though it took so long to get us recognition.

This past October I felt more conviction from very enthusiastic groups like Inspired Metastatic Breast Cancer Advocacy, Metastatic Breast Cancer Coalition, Metavivor, and Metastatic Breast Cancer Network, among others.

I had not seen this much energy in the six years I have been stricken with this insidious disease.
This year promotional fliers and T-shirts were not enough! Even more exciting was stage IV finally got attention on news stations in our towns (I for one on KMIR), and they let us tell our stories! We made newspapers, radio and even television appearances alongside the pinks!

However, another year has come and gone and still no cure in sight. There is still nothing pink about it... just ask the 40,000 families who lost a loved one this year from the disease! Sad but true.

Without the parades, we did a great job of claiming our nationally-appointed Oct. 13 Stage IV Day, and it remains a special time since 2009. This is all due to nine volunteers from Metastatic Breast Cancer Network, which I am pleased to be part of. They, all nine and their families, many ill with this disease, still made their way to Washington, D.C. and publicly sent the pleas and cries of the 40,000 while not forgetting the 155,000 currently living with the disease.

With the help of our brothers and sisters behind the scenes, individuals like myself chimed in. Many weak and on exacerbating treatments were out there getting proclamations from all over the United States. So many whom I personally knew, who had strived so hard to be heard, are three short years later now gone today.

Nine brave human beings who became our proteges forged their way to Washington, D.C. from many states that week. Two who were especially close to me passed away just a few months ago, back to back, one very young and one very young at heart! They achieved their mission, on Oct. 13, 2009 -- we were recognized by both houses and Congress, and it was written.

However, "pink" has always been in the forefront. Hell, I was "pink" too, 18 years ago. Now just think, although told I was cured -- yes, 18 years ago -- I am now six years with stage IV. Go figure?

I still maintain the theory: Start research at stage IV, so none have to ever get here! This is why I pummel so diligently, hoping for a cure for all, even those with the "pink" blinders on. I think that personifies "pink" today and for decades: blinders. Seems strange -- recognition means so much to so many. It is such an easy gift to give one suffering, struggling to hold on.

In the meantime, I continue to be my audacious self, hoping folks will continue to recognize and realize the sacrifices stage IV has made not just for Oct. 13 but throughout the decades!

Until next time.



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