JAMIL: Hi, I'm Jamil.
Text on screen: Jamil
I am a married mom of three boys. I am a nonprofit CFO. And I am an advocate for metastatic breast cancer.
When I was first diagnosed, it was a shock. I was the typical mom, busy, you know, being a boss at work and running around with the kids. And my husband was already a cancer survivor and so we were already impacted by cancer in my family. And I didn't have any, the traditional signs or symptoms.
I think initially I was just thinking, you're telling me my kids have two parents with cancer. When I thought about them, I said, “Well, they're too young to lose their mom. I just, I have to try. I have to pull everything in me to try as hard as I can. And at least they know if I go out, I went out, you know, fighting as hard as I could.” And so, you know, I just felt, I always believe that knowledge is power. And so just armed myself with information.
I had to learn a lot about cancer really quickly and just learned as much as I could, in order to have that, to weigh out all those options and figure out a plan. And went straight ahead, just thinking about my kids the whole time.
I think we understand more so than most that tomorrow is not promised.
I always say to the kids, when we say goodbye, you know, “I love you and I believe in you.” And so I think that kinda arms them to deal with whatever they're going to face that day. And I'm ready to face whatever I'm going to face during the day.
And so I do think of one of those things as, I know that, say, if this disease takes me out that, and they do lose me, hopefully I can make it to where they're not gonna forget me. Or I can get to make it at least at graduation. It's hard to face that, but I think about it every day. I think about when they're on me and are hugging me. But we make a plan, we take it day by day and we try to, you know, move forward. That’s all we can do.
Having a cancer diagnosis, you meet the best people even though it's the worst club.
So, I do lean on others that are going through the same thing. I can talk to them, no filter, and so we have each other's backs. Because we know the statistics, we know the side effects. We know that this is a marathon. You have to be in this for the long haul.
I think one of the things that I was surprised by is how you can inspire people by just living your life, just going to work every day, just taking care of your kids. You don’t think really it’s a big deal, cause I mean, cancer is taxing, it wears on you. So you need to kind of like constantly rebuild, reinforce, you know, and kind of have that buffer around yourself to be your best self as you go through this.
So I think it's realizing what type of support is it that you need and then what's going to be helpful to you. And be open to, you know, maybe if you're metastatic, you know, going to a support group for metastatic breast cancer patients. Or just an event where they're talking about it, where you can connect with other people that are facing the same thing and it's less isolating.
I definitely recommend, METAvivor, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, Komen, and also, Facing MBC Together.
Text on screen: No matter how you feel, you don’t have to feel alone.
Jamil shares her story
Jamil is a busy mom of three boys, with a full-time job and a lot on her plate. Her family had already been coping with her husband’s cancer. When she was diagnosed with MBC, her first thoughts were about her kids. She quickly realized that the best way for her to deal with her MBC was to arm herself with information. Today, she shares what she knows, along with her take-charge attitude, with others.
Having a cancer diagnosis, you meet the best people even though it’s the worst club.”— Jamil
Need someone to talk to?
Cancer Support Helpline: 1-888-793-9355
CancerCare’s Hopeline: 1-800-813-HOPE (4673)
Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) Breast Cancer Helpline: 1-888-753-5222
You don't have to do this alone
Connect with support, your way, with the Facing MBC Together app.Learn more