A. For the most part, pretty great, actually. Chemo gives me headaches and some serious fatigue, but I'm still able to take Quinn to swim lessons, make it to my yoga mat a couple of times a week, and plan and cook meals for my family. I have my ups and downs emotionally, and my memory and ability to concentrate are terrible. But I'm mostly okay.
Q. How often do you get chemo?
A. Every three weeks.
Q. What chemo are you on again? Is it a pill?
A. It's called Kadcyla, or TDM-1. It is a targeted and powerful chemo, delivered straight to my cancer cells--like a smart bomb. It's an infusion, administered through the port in my chest.
Q. How long will you be on this drug?
A. Indefinitely. Because it's a targeted treatment that leaves the rest of my cells relatively unscathed, I will be on it as long as it's working. Until they find a way to end breast cancer, I will be on some form of chemo.
Q. Have your doctors told you how long you have to live?
A. No. They have said I can live with this for years, treating it like a chronic illness like diabetes or heart disease. It's incurable, but I'm lucky that it's responsive to treatment. I hope I am lucky for several more decades.
Q. Don't you think that's a little optimistic/naive/unrealistic?
A. We'll see. Officially, about 20% of women with Stage 4 breast cancer are still alive 5 years after diagnosis. I don't see why I can't be that 1 in 5, and I have to believe treatments will only continue to improve.
Q. What keeps you going?
A. My family. My friends. My sheer will to survive and watch Quinn become a man. Never underestimate the heart and fortitude of a mom.
Q. What do you want your message to be?
A. Life throws you both good and bad circumstances. You can choose how to live with them. I choose hope.