Kristi Stone

I am a 47-year-old wife and mother, and I have stage 4 metastatic breast cancer (MBC), which is widespread in my liver and bones. I was diagnosed de novo, which means stage 4 at initial diagnosis, on Christmas Day 2014, in the ER of a hospital in a rural town. I was diagnosed with these words: “I’m so sorry, you are 100% riddled with tumors.” It was that simple. That fast.

Within a few days, I had liver failure and given only days left to live. I just couldn’t understand it. What had I done wrong? Nothing. MBC can happen to anyone. It doesn’t happen because we didn’t eat right, maintain a healthy weight, exercise, get mammograms or do self-exams. Even a mastectomy does nothing to guarantee metastasis does not happen. It does help about 30% of those with early stage. No one knows why metastasis happens, which is why research is key and will benefit all stages of breast cancer.

I managed to pull myself out of the drain I was circling, and after months of treatment, I now have a pretty good quality of life. I don’t spend every day in depression in my bed. I get out there every day, enjoying life, despite my prognosis. With MBC, we get a median life expectancy of 33 months after our diagnosis. I live my life with zest, make the most of every day, love with all of my heart and hope, for a longer, quality life with my family, and someday, a cure for each type of breast cancer. I enjoy swimming, hiking, live music, art, traveling, the ocean/beach, and MBC advocacy. I advocate by helping people through their diagnosis, since I know how devastating it is. I also push for more funding for metastatic research. It may help someone you love; your mother, sister, wife, daughter and even brother.

I will continue to press on, living well, having a blast, and fiercely advocating for a cause I so believe in. It’s going to take more than stage 4 MBC to keep me down!

-Kristi Stone

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