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34-year-old living with stage IV breast cancer with treatment with epidemic


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Patient advocate Tori Geib says, “At first, I didn’t understand the severity of metastatic breast cancer, because I had never heard of metastatic breast cancer. Now she is trying to make sure that other people are aware .

In these last seven months, many have been calming their anxiety about the coronovirus epidemic by sticking to a belief – that it will pass, perhaps even in a year or two. But it’s cold comfort for Tori Geib, a 34-year-old Ohioan living with metastatic, or stage IV, breast cancer since 2016.

“Those were the things I would do before COVID, maybe pushing myself, but I was trying to get experience – like I went to Europe last year and plan to return for Okturfest this year , “She tells Yahoo Life. But it was then canceled. “When you know on borrowed time what you want to experience, not being able to let go and experience… is a gut punch.”

Not to mention, she says, “You hear, ‘You’re going to be one [COVID-19] Vaccine in a year… but with metastatic disease, about 75 people were diagnosed when I would not survive the five-year mark. So when I think about a year from now, or two years from now, it is hard to think what it will look like and if I stay here. I had to call the airline and cancel my flight, and they said … ‘You have two years to use your ticket!’ I could think if I would be here in two years to use it? ‘There will be nothing like this about the average person. ”

But Geib is not your average person. At the age of 30, when his career as a professional chef was growing, he was suffering from backache, which led him to see a doctor – who saw something that someone else had a year old. The scan was not from: a wound on his spine and a crushed vertebra. . A subsequent biopsy found breast cancer and it had already spread to her bones and liver.

Geib received radiation on her brain, where her breast cancer had spread, she learned in July.  (Courtesy Tori Geib)
Geib received radiation on her brain, where her breast cancer had spread, she learned in July. (Courtesy Tori Geib)

“I never knew early-stage breast cancer,” she explains, stating that as a young man, she had never given any thought to breast cancer, let alone one that could be fatal. . Her diagnosis left her in a state of shock and disbelief.

“Previously, I didn’t understand the gravity of metastatic breast cancer, because I had never heard of metastatic breast cancer,” she says, referring to breast cancer, which, in Geib’s case, is back, The body part spread to another, usually an organ or bones, and is no longer observable.

“You look at all the success stories with pink and festivity, so I thought, obviously these people are fine, why would I worry about that?” I didn’t know that people still die of breast cancer, “she recalls when her oncologist confirmed that breast cancer had been found in her spine,” adding that the words would always be with me – she said, ‘ It is no longer curable, but it is curable. ‘I was talking like that. I thought it was a year of my life – you chemo, you radiate. It took me a while to wrap my head around it. ”

Specifically as a “de novo patient”, she says, meaning someone is diagnosed as metastatic from the start (representing 6 to 10 percent of all new breast cancers), one There was a rigid learning curve. “They don’t usually do breast surgery on those patients,” she says. “So when I found out and I was told I was IV and she wasn’t on the surgery table, that was the first moment I realized something was really different and I didn’t really understand the disease the way it was. I thought I did “. “

Jib was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer the week of her 30th birthday,
Jib was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer the week of her 30th birthday, saying, “We need to talk about this not only as an older woman’s disease … it affects young people as well.” (Photo courtesy Tori Geib)

Now, as a full-time breast cancer patient who advocates for funding and awareness, Susan G. Having worked for the Common Breast Cancer Foundation, Living Beyond Breast Cancer and MBC, he also strives to help others understand, including talking to Yahoo! Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day Life on October 13. The biggest point she wants to make is that more research is needed, as well as raising awareness among people of all genders. Ages.

On her 11th targeted therapy in July and which has seen her metastasis grow even more, we need to talk about stress in her brain not only as a major female disease… this young Also affects people. “I have seen girls with metastatic breast cancer at the age of 18, and while this is not the norm, it is still happening. For me, I was not aware of my risk, even though I had a family history of breast cancer, because everyone was in their 50s or 60s when diagnosed. ”

According to the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network, an estimated 155,000 people are currently living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) in the US, with 61 percent knowing little about the disease. Nevertheless, it is estimated that 20 to 30 percent of all breast cancer cases will be metastatic, with an average survival rate of three years. Breast cancer is the number 1 cause of cancer death in women under 50, and, compared with white women, African-American women are diagnosed at age 40 and die of breast cancer at all ages Are more likely to

It’s not ideal for high-profile celebrities to share metastatic diagnoses, but some, such as Shannon Doherty, Bershan Shaw, and Olivia Newton-John, are very accurate – something that Gibb appreciates. “I think it totally helps when … celebrities opened up to the truth about living with stage IV breast cancer, which showed people that stage IV is different from early stage, and how, “She says. But the level of helpfulness may decrease, it depends on these stories.

“I think the media is trying, but you still see the stories with so much inaccuracy, afraid of calling ‘metastatic’ outright – or … leading your audience to think that In this case there is no breast cancer and bone cancer, ”she says, stating that breast cancer in the bone – or brain or liver or anywhere else – is still breast cancer. In addition, she has a strong distaste for the type of “language of war” that often handles media coverage of breast cancer.

“, In turn, one inadvertently turns to blaming patients for their success or failure on a treatment. Anytime I see an article where it says that someone has ‘lost their battle,’ It’s a nail on a chalkboard, “Geib says, echoing the views of many others.” I don’t think we just can’t accept that breast cancer is a killer, and it’s not about fighting or fighting is. Treating as long as you can. But in a diagnosis where long-term survival is only 2 to 3 percent, it’s not about ‘winning a battle’ – it’s about facing this every day until you can finally mutate cancer beyond your treatment . Ie No A patient’s fault. ”

Not even the patient’s fault? The fact is that only 2 to 5 percent of all funds raised for breast cancer research go to study metastasis.

“Every 14 minutes someone dies of breast cancer. Despite a large movement to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research, the number has not diminished significantly in nearly 40 years, ”according to MetaWeaver, which suggests that while more metastasis research is needed, the money required is is lacking.

“When you do anything, you want to be successful at it – so if you’re doing something you’re getting praised for … like for early-stage breast cancer, and you found out That’s not how women die when cancer doesn’t leave the breast, “so that’s what a researcher would like to focus on, says Jib.

“I look at the urgency with COVID to find a vaccine, and I wish we looked at cancer with the same urgency,” she says. “But anger is not going to help anyone. Ensuring that research does not stop or stall [because of the pandemic] Is fragile. Some publications are coming out, saying that breast cancer deaths in the US will potentially increase to 10,000, as research and clinical trials are not able to stall the way they should There is a need to help patients. “She says about COVID-19 and breast cancer research,” I don’t think it’s either or – I think both need to be studied and neither need to take a second seat. ”

COVID-19 has also directly affected the treatment of Geib – by canceling clinical trials for the first time that he may be a candidate, but by the time they reopen, he may be able to recover from his brain metastasis ( “Mets”). Furthermore, it has left her, like many other breast cancer patients, in all stages of the disease, alone to go for treatment and testing.

“With COVID, they are not supporting the people in the building with you,” she says. “I heard that I was Brain Mate in a room by myself. … I had an anaphylactic reaction to one of my cameos, and I was by myself when I lost consciousness. For me, it was really hard, My mother could not come into the building knowing that I was coming and was afraid to die. The way COVID has affected me and my friends the most. [loss of the] Support model. ”

Despite the failures though, Geib is still doing the best she can to look forward to the future.

“The chances of surviving for a long time are only 2 to 3 percent, but you don’t know if you’re going to be that person, or who that person is going to be, and you need to plan to be here,” She says. “Tomorrow can be a success.”

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