In Loving Memory of Liz
(Joe, Liz’s husband)

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Liz’s husband, Joe, is sharing Liz’s story to honour her memory and to raise awareness about mBC. Throughout her journey, she remained positive and active in the community.

This is Liz’s story.

Diagnosis: My wife, Liz, was going to a fitness class, she always ate healthy and exercised, and one day the instructor told the class that a friend of hers was diagnosed with breast cancer, so she suggested they all do a proper self-exam. Just like that out of the blue. So, Liz did the check and she felt a lump. She came home and told me she felt something and so we obviously called the family doctor and got a referral for a mammogram. She was 38 at the time.

We didn’t think it was going to be anything major and then I came home from work, and she had gone and had tests. The radiologist had told her then and there that they think she has cancer. So, when I got home from work, she turned to me and told me. I was in total shock. Your whole life just turns upside-down. It was shortly after that we went back to the hospital for more tests and samples and found that Liz was estrogen positive.

Treatment: Within a week we were in surgery, and she had a left-side mastectomy and 28 lymph nodes taken out of her left arm. We were told at that point that the cancer was contained. The chemo and treatments were very hard on Liz. It was rough. But in the end, we were just thankful that we got through it.

Living with mBC: After that we continued on with life. Our kids played sports so we were always at tournaments and at one of them Liz suddenly felt a sharp pain in her side. We went back to the doctor and did another scan. We found out on Christmas Day that Liz had a new lesion on her liver and that the cancer was spreading. She had metastatic breast cancer.

Stress became the new norm for us. Liz was an amazing woman. Even with everything she was going through she actually kept me going. She always called me her rock…but she was like a mountain for me.

More and more tumors were appearing – at first one spot on the liver, then multiple spots and then it spread to her bones. It was devastating. People don’t hear the word metastatic. They don’t want to hear bad news. They think breast cancer is controllable, that you’ll go through the treatments and be fine.

Even after all she was going through, Liz reached out to other cancer patients to try and get them the support they needed. She also volunteered as a patient advisor at a hospital to help other patients through the process. She was scared, I knew she was scared even though she never wanted to show it, but she always remained positive.

My kids have lost their beautiful, loving mother and this pains me to my soul. I have lost my best friend, the person who I trusted with everything, the girl I loved since the age of 19 is no longer with me. Liz always made a friend wherever she went, truly a genuine caring person, better than I ever deserved. It still seems unreal to me, but the pain reminds me that it is.
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