Studies by Susan G. Comen predict that 268,600 women will be recently diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2019, and 2670 men will also be diagnosed.
About 6 percent of these patients will have metastatic breast cancer. The diagnosis means that the cancer has spread beyond the breast.
33-year-old Tori Gabe was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in Stage IV during the week of her 30th and birthdays.
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"All I heard at my first diagnosis was, 'You're young. You will be fine. Young people do not die of breast cancer, "says Gabe.
Eight months after her diagnosis, she discovered her cancer had spread to the bones, lungs and liver. Her prognosis was extreme.
, I went from all that cheerleading team behind me to "You're going to be great! You're going to be fine!" to "No, you're dying," she explained. "It's been over a 3-week period."
Since then, Gabe has undergone 1
"It's like … I can do everything I can. But at the same time – if it's a fight, it's not a fair fight, "she explained.
That is why Gabe says that the terms "survivor" and "fight cancer" do not quite describe their journey.
"It's really not an honor that we're still experiencing this," she explained. "It's not something that is a win or a loss. Sometimes people just die of the disease and say that someone has "lost their battle" – many of us feel a lot of guilt and shame with that, "Gabe explained.
Instead, Gabe says that she is simply a patient who does everything she can to live her "best life" while she can. Gabe recently made the trip to Italy with her best friend before embarking on a new round of chemo for her cancer.