Project Life is a virtual wellness house. Focusing on our five dimensions of wellness, we will offer programs to address the various topics that a Metastatic Breast Cancer patient and their loved ones face through our different wellness rooms. Topics that we will address will include (but is not a comprehensive list) financial toxicity, end of life planning, fertility and sexual challenges, parenting, caregiving, grief, therapeutic art, journaling, and one-to-one mentoring. Our groups and classes will be small to invite more personal conversations, interactions, and a safe place to “BE."
Five Dimensions of Wellness
The National Cancer Institute defines a cancer survivor (survivorship) as; "In cancer, survivorship focuses on the health and well-being of a person with cancer from the time of diagnosis until the end of life." Health and well-being include the physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and financial effects of cancer that begin at diagnosis and continue through treatment and beyond. The survivorship experience also includes follow-up care issues (including regular health and wellness checkups), late effects of treatment, cancer recurrence, second cancers, and quality of life. Family members, friends, and caregivers are also considered part of the survivorship experience.
However, the survivorship needs in stage IV metastatic breast cancer have been overlooked and understudied. We are unsure just how many women AND men are currently living with MBC, as the SEER database now counts those diagnosed with denovo stage IV but does not count those who have recurrent disease.
A recent study has shown that those living with MBC now live longer yet do not receive the same survivorship resources offered to early stagers. Those of us with MBC would like to be included in all survivorship investments as "we are not dead yet," our quality of life matters too.