In March 2015, I was originally diagnosed with Stage 2 invasive breast cancer. The tumor is ER+/PR+/ HER2-. In November 2015, after a radiologist noticed a suspicious lesion on my T12 vertebrae, a bone biopsy confirmed that my breast cancer had metastasized (spread) to my bones. My cancer was re-staged. It is now considered Stage IV.
After my initial diagnosis I underwent chemotherapy (12 weekly rounds of Taxol, which I found exceptionally tolerable; and 4 bi-weekly rounds of a combo Adriamycin/Cytoxan.) I had a mastectomy and then 6 weeks of daily radiation to my chest.
While there is no cure for metastatic (also called, stage IV or advanced) breast cancer, patients can live years with no evidence of disease. I have not yet heard those lovely words, but hope that I will soon. So far my team has been able to treat the individual bone mets as they pop up with stereotactic radiosurgery (which is really just a fancy way of saying high dose & very precisely targeted radiation therapy. In addition to the stereotactic radiosurgery on individual mets we decided to take a systemic approach to treatment and I started taking a combination of Ibrance/Faslodex in January 2017. Thus far, it has been effective at keeping the cancer from spreading further.