That little pink ribbon seems to pop up everywhere these days. Support for women with breast cancer is greater than ever before, with sports teams, organizations, and foundations all promoting awareness whenever they can. But much of the narrative around breast cancer surrounds beating it, ringing the bell, and finishing treatment. That’s fine for a certain number of people diagnosed with the disease. But for those with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer (MBC), which is considered terminal, the story is “living with,” not “beating it.” Their experience is much more nuanced, and much less talked about.
That is where these blogs, written by women living with metastatic disease, come in. They get it. They get straight to the nitty-gritty: post-mastectomy life, treatment side effects, breast cancer symptoms, and how to tell your children — from the perspective of someone who’s going (or been) through it. They also bestow plenty of advice on how to manage and live with the disease, from making your bucket list to using alternative therapies, like painting, to de-stress.
All in all, they’re here to empower you as a member of the stage 4 crew. Here are our favorite metastatic blogs:
1. Breast Cancer? But Doctor … I Hate Pink!
Ann Silberman is the kind of person who will never backs down, and her blog, Breast Cancer? But Doctor … I Hate Pink!, shows it. Her posts are understanding (check out "It’s Not Your Fault!") and completely transparent. She keeps an updated cancer timeline so readers can see what therapies she has been through. Although she finds bucket lists a bit of a cancer cliché, Silberman keeps one updated on her site. She crosses out all the things she’s completed, including “have an op-ed published in a newspaper” and “see my first grandchild.”
These days, Silberman keeps her Facebook page most up-to-date. She was also able to stop chemo back in April 2021, after 12 years of treatment!
2. Booby and the Beast
If you’re looking for a blog that revolves around activism, check out Booby and the Beast, written by the unstoppable, cancer-conquering Jen Campisano. Now a mother of two, Campisano was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer at age 32, when her son was just 5 months old. She started the blog to keep family and friends updated on her journey, but it can be a huge resource and source of solidarity for strangers going through the disease. These days, Campisano’s blog is less about her own journey and more dedicated to helping mothers navigate their metastatic breast cancer diagnosis — she just finished writing a book on the subject and is currently looking for a publisher — and raising awareness to help find a cure. Catch regular updates on Campisano’s Instagram.
3. Stephanie Seban
Stephanie Seban’s blog is as aesthetically gorgeous as it is positive, and it’s got it all. She recommends books that helped her navigate her cancer diagnosis and being faced with a terminal diagnosis in her thirties, Besides plenty of fun posts (like this one on her favorite summer ricotta crostinis), Seban focuses on self-care while living with a terminal illness. She is also great at building community. Today she’s most active on Instagram, so catch her there for timely updates — like her being a model for Fenty’s breast cancer lingerie line — and dig through her blog for timeless posts about how she navigated her journey with stage 4 breast cancer.
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4. Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer
With a very firm stance on metastatic cancer, Ann Marie Giannino-Otis uses Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer to blow wide-open all the things we don’t like to talk about — like the fear of recurring cancer (or PTCD, as she calls it). Giannino-Otis is bold, charismatic, and raw, and she’s also incredibly charitable. The Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer organization has raised over $750,000 for cancer organizations, and Giannino-Otis herself has been a spokesperson for the cause ever since her recovery. She also lifts other thrivers up; Giannino-Otis has a list of blogs by other breast cancer survivors that she’s found helpful. Today she’s continuing to foster a community of thrivers via her Facebook page, where she regularly answers questions and crowd sources answers about Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer.
5. Let Us Be Mermaids
Why mermaids? Susan Rosen, author of the Let Us Be Mermaids blog, explains that just like women with metastatic breast cancer, mermaids are fearless, seductive, and feminine, and everyone in their presence is awed by them. Sadly, breast cancer took Rosen’s life on January 18, 2019, at age 53. Her blog is a legacy of posts that cover the topics only someone who has been faced with the disease can, like whether you should tell your children about your diagnosis and the effects of treatment on a woman’s physical appearance.
Susan Rahn, a vivacious and completely opinionated blogger who lives with stage 4 cancer, started StickIt2Stage4 to share resources with others who are also living with the disease. She has book recommendations and links to other blogs that she’s used as resources. Though be warned: She’s very saucy. When her doctor told her she wouldn’t make it to her 47th birthday (she did), she immediately posted, “Suck it, cancer!” Like her writing, her opinions are daring — but they’re relatable, too. In one post she comments on how breast cancer awareness has actually trivialized the disease. Her latest post is a raw recap of the toll being an activist in the breast cancer community took on her mental health, and why she needed to take a break.
RELATED: Women With Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer Rock the Runway
Nalie’s blog story begins at age 24, when she was first diagnosed with stage 2B breast cancer. After 16 rounds of chemotherapy, a mastectomy of her left breast, and 29 rounds of radiation, she was cancer-free. But three years later, shortness of breath landed her in the hospital and she was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. Her blog is a media mix of writing and video posts, mainly focused on videos. She also runs a YouTube channel called The Nalie Show, which is devoted to discussing breast cancer concerns by bringing in celebrities like The Bachelor’s Vanessa Grimaldi and breast cancer revolutionaries like Stephanie Seban (whose blog is also on this list).
8. Metastatic Breast Cancer Network
The Metastatic Breast Cancer Network provides one of the most inspiring blogs for women living with stage 4 breast cancer. In the "Living With MBC" section, the site publishes personal, first-person accounts from people who have experience with the terminal diagnosis. They also publish up-to-date, crucial information on the disease, including treatments, upcoming awareness days, and a list of MBC facts that every person should know when they’re diagnosed.
9. Living Beyond Breast Cancer
This isn’t a blog solely dedicated to stage 4 cancer, but it is one that many women living with all stages of breast cancer can identify with. It’s a hugely helpful source of information on everything from types of breast cancer and learning about your diagnosis to wellness and body image. Similar to MBC Network, Living Beyond Breast Cancer also posts personal stories from thrivers — find them tagged with #BeyondtheBreast. But the best part is their section called "I Am …." It’s a page that helps people filter the content on the site based on their preferences depending on race, stage, and position in the diagnosis. There’s also an option to search for resources as either a caregiver or a patient.
10. Team S — Living With Stage 4 Breast Cancer
Renee Sendelbach created Team S as a way to vividly approach and share her stage 4 experiences, including videos and pictures of her post-radiation chest. In the menu bar you’ll find that she has a section called "In Noncancer Terms" that describes stage 4 for those who haven’t experienced cancer. But the site was also brought to life in part to encourage alternative therapies. For Sendelbach this means mixed-media art, her own personal therapy to escape from “Cancer Land,” as she calls it. She posts these art pieces on her site and also sells them on her Etsy shop.
Sendelbach occasionally posts vlog updates on her YouTube channel and regularly posts helpful tips on her Facebook Page — like how to prepare for a computerized tomography (CT) or positron emission tomography (PET) scan.