A question for the Breast Cancer Community

If your or your loved one’s experience living with this condition were a book, what would its title be and why? And what would you name the chapter you are currently in?

Answers from the Community

I would say if this experience was a book, I think it would be “Oh, Geez, What’s Next?” Because in the space of three months, my mom died and I was the executor of the estate, my husband’s condition worsened, and I got breast cancer. The chapter that I’m in now would be, I think, “Loving Life and Grateful for Every Single Day.”

Well, that’s super funny because I have actually started writing a book. So for whatever legal purposes, no one is allowed to steal this idea from me, copyright infringement or whatever. But the working title that I have of the book is called “That One Time I Had Cancer” because a lot of times when I tell stories, I’ll say that phrase like, “Oh yeah, that one time such and such.” And so, then that would be the title. And then each chapter would have that same kind of title for that one time. For example, my brother gave me a toy bus in the hospital when I was recovering, which is random and there’s a backstory, but that chapter is going to be called “That Time My Brother Gave Me a Bus.” So this chapter would probably be called, I don’t know, maybe “That Time I Became a Pseudo Swimmer.” I don’t know, I have to start swimming because I can’t do almost any other form of exercise because of my joint pain from medication. So, that would maybe be what this chapter’s called. Or, “That Time I Had an Afro” because my hair is growing back curly. So yeah, this season is just kind of like figuring out life still. I’m in the long haul now, right. I’m done with all the major treatments and I’m on this pill and this shot for five years. So I’m just trying to figure out what these five years are going to look like. Or that time I was still single after cancer. I don’t know. Maybe that would be what the title is called. It’s hard to date, especially when you have one boob. So it was very cathartic speaking into this phone message. I should maybe start going to counseling again.

The title of my book would be, “Hell.” My chapter would be “The Unknown” because I don’t know how this chemo is going to affect me like it did the first time. It’s different every time I was told. So yeah, “Hell” and “The Unknown.” Embrace for it. Yeah.

If my experience were a book, I would say that it would be called “Here We Go Again,” because this is not my first time with cancer. In 2016, I had kidney cancer, urothelial cancer, and had a kidney removed, which, believe me, that experience was far worse than what I experienced. And in that case, there was not the resources that I have for breast cancer, I will say that, I will tell you that. Again, I found that where I live probably had a lot to do with the information that was available to me, plenty of it. And it’s still available to me.

If I had to give my condition a name for a book, I guess it would really be just “Shocked” because I had no idea that this would ever happen to me. It’s been in my family, I should have known. But for some reason, I thought I was invincible and I had no clue. When they found it, I was so shocked and surprised. I guess the current chapter I’d be on is just “Getting By, Day by Day” learning that you can take treatment that isn’t that bad, and you have a choice of treatments, and you do want what’s best for your quality of life. So there are some hard decisions to make sometimes, but each day is a new day. You never know what the next one is going to bring. Right now, my pain levels are okay with painkillers. But two weeks ago, I was in the hospital because the pain had gotten so severe, because of increased size bone lesion. So really, day by day, you just never know what’s going to happen with metastatic breast cancer.

My title would probably be “Be Strong” and a chapter I’m in now is “We’re Going to Make It.”

Wow, I guess the title would have to be something about “The Difficult Road” because there’s so many ups and downs that it is difficult managing this. The chapter that I would currently be in is “Smooth Sailing” just for the time being, but I know that I’m not going to stay that way forever.

The name of the book would be “Living Bravely.” And the chapter that I would be in right now is “Finding Peace in the Storm of Terminal Illness.”

That’s a good question. I have laughed with my friends that I would write a book called “In the House of Elijah.” And my father, now deceased, used to believe he was the prophet Elijah. So the book would be titled “In the House of Elijah” which would be my memoirs. And this chapter would be, “Living With…” And then, the chapter title is, “Living With,” because I’m living with this condition for so long, and not dying from, but just living with.

Last year I opened a blog on Facebook and created a group for people to follow my journey. And my title was what the doctor first said to me when he came in from the ER with my results. The first thing he said, he looked at me and said, “I have good news and bad news.” And really it wasn’t much good news on that sense, but his response to me was, “I’m sorry, you have cancer.” And that’s the title that I had for my blog. And that’s probably something that I would title for my book. It would make… It’s eye-catching and it gets people thinking, “What does that mean? What’s that story about?” So that’s what I would name it. It would be “I’m Sorry, You Have Cancer.”

If my experience in living with this breast cancer were a book, I’d call it “Breast Cancer: It’s Not a Death Sentence.” If you have faith in God, the Creator, the one who made you, then what have you to fear? That chapter out now in would be called, “Hey, It Could Be Worse.” Because I have to remind myself there are others who suffer much more than me.

“Family Legacy” would be the name of the book because everybody in my mother’s side of the family, my grandmother, her mother, my aunt, me and my mom all have had breast cancer. I still have it. This chapter I’m in now, “Making Metastatic Breast Cancer Live with Me, Not Me Live With It.”

This is a loaded question for me, because I’ve definitely thought about writing my experience and I have written a lot of it, but I don’t know what I would call it. It might be called “The Things They Don’t Tell You About Cancer.” But that might be too not acceptable or not well received by people who would need it or want it. If it was going to be “The Things They Don’t Tell You About Cancer,” I would name it that because I feel like there are so many pieces of it that they don’t tell you about - they being the collective doctors, people that I think that I would have liked to have known. Alternatively, I could call it “A Day in the Life.” I have given this some thought, but I don’t know what I would call my book. It would definitely be an excellent read. Excellent. Very entertaining. Because some of the stories that I have or it might be called like something funny like, “It’s All Fun and Games Until You Get Cancer.” Maybe that’s what it would be. “It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets Cancer,” and by someone that was me. It would be then, not subtitled, but a extra title would be… It would be “The Experience, the Strengths, the Hope, the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, the Messy of Cancer,” something like that. Because I feel like that would be a good, I don’t know, explanation. Or, it would be “Cancer Written by an Awesome Survivor, Because I’m Awesome.” Something like that. What would I name the chapter I’m currently in? It might be “Cancer: The Very Messy Aftermath,” “Starting to See the Light Two Years After,” anything like that. Hope I answered the question.

The title of my book would be “My Journey Living With Metastatic Breast Cancer.” The name of the current chapter I’m in would be “Living Life as Best I Can While Navigating a Terminal Disease.”

I think I would call it “Whirlwind’s Life” because it was a whirlwind. The diagnosis happened out of the blue because I had a normal mammogram. And six months later, it was stage two. And then six months later, stage four. So the doctors totally missed it. I had no symptoms. So I would say “Whirlwind.” I don’t even know. And right now, during the pandemic and getting once a month chemo, I would say “The Rainbow After the Storm.”

That’s a tough one for me. A title, I’d have to think about that for probably several days, to be honest with you. But, for me, something that I might name the chapter that I was currently in, would be, “And Today Brings” or something to the effect of, “And so It Continues,” or “What Will Tomorrow Bring?” Something to that effect, because each day is almost like a new chapter. But actually naming the book for me is a tough one, because the journey just wasn’t what I had been explained. The journey did not happen like it did for most people in my situation. The journey was done alone for me, a large part of the time, which I did not expect. And, I would really need several days to think about a title for a book. I’ve thought about this question quite sometime before I even called in, but I apologize, that’s the best I could do on that one.