Not All Breast Cancer Can Be Cured: Metastatic Breast Cancer Day
Tomorrow, 13 October, is Metastatic Breast Cancer Day – a chance to raise awareness of incurable, metastatic breast cancer in New Zealand and highlighting that not all breast cancer can be cured.
Most importantly, it is a day to honour and celebrate the courage of the more than 750 New Zealanders who are currently living with a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer.
“Metastatic breast cancer, also known as Stage 4 or advanced cancer, means the cancer has spread outside of the breast to other organs such as bones, liver, lung or brain,” says Catrin Devonald, CEO of Sweet Louise.
“The needs of people facing a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer are very different. At this point, the cancer cannot be cured, but often it can be controlled with treatment, sometimes for many years. The impact of ongoing treatment can be enormous, from financial impacts such as having to give up work, to severe fatigue, to the ongoing anxiety of not knowing how long you might have left with your loved ones.
“Being told that your cancer is incurable is devastating. Feelings of fear and shock are compounded by a lack of understanding of their disease. New Zealanders have a good understanding of breast cancer thanks to good information and publicity, but I don’t believe that’s the case for metastatic breast cancer.
“At Sweet Louise, we stand alongside New Zealanders facing incurable breast cancer. We provide practical, emotional and social support to help them live as well as possible for as long as possible.”
Sweet Louise is the only charity in New Zealand dedicated to improving the quality of life for Kiwis living with incurable breast cancer. Women like 33-year-old Nikki Black.
Nikki, a mother of two and primary school teacher, was initially diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2019. By January 2020, she learned the cancer had spread to her bones.
Nikki says: “I went from completely normal to incurable cancer in a couple of months. I have good days and bad days. Some days I think I can’t do this anymore. But each day when I wake up I am thankful and try to stay active. But I never plan far ahead.
“Most people don’t understand what I’m going through, but Sweet Louise do. Having Sweet Louise by my side, having people to talk to who understand what I’m going through – it gives me the energy to keep going; to keep on fighting,” adds Nikki.
During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Sweet Louise is inviting Kiwis to download its e-cookbook from its website. For just $40, they can download ‘The Sweet Louise Cookbook’ which contains 40 recipes from well-known cooks and celebs, including Al Brown, Nadia Lim, Dean Brettschneider, The Topp Twins and more.
Sweet Louise is also inviting people to host a Sweet October tea party during October to raise funds to provide vital care and support for New Zealanders with incurable breast cancer.
All the funds raised through the e-cookbook and Sweet October events will provide urgent emotional and practical support to help New Zealanders with incurable breast cancer to live as well as possible and make the most of the precious time they have left.
Registrations to host a Sweet October event will be open until the end of October. To find out more and to register, visit https://www.sweetoctober.nz/
To purchase and download the Sweet Louise Cookbook visit https://sweetlouise.co.nz