PEORIA, Ill. – Over the past two decades, breast cancer survivorship has increased to nearly 100 percent when the disease is caught early.
Late stage breast cancers are much more stubborn.
Still, as Gina Morss shows us...so is the woman you are about to meet.
This athletic trainer has to be, she's a 12-year breast cancer survivor.
"It’s just absolutely part of my medicine, getting here to the gym, letting my body move in whatever way it can that day."
Her strength of body mind and spirit allowed her to beat stage three breast cancer at the age of 29. A young wife and mom at the time, it was 2004.
Almost 12 years later, with a new toddler at home, her strength was waning.
"Pain that, being an athlete all my life, i was just trying to walk off, stretch it out. I was literally crawling into my chiropractor...just must be a bad back."
Turns out, the cancer was back, making her bones so brittle that she had compression fractures in her ribs and spine.
"My prognosis is still very positive. It has to be. I have two kids. So, there's just no other choice."
More than a year since the recurrence, Amy is living with stage 4, metastatic breast cancer. a new oral chemotherapy treatment killed the cancer in her ribs, spine and tailbone. But, the drug has stopped working.
"it worked tremendously for about a year. i was riddled with cancer. Now i just have a little bit, which is weird to be so happy that you just have a little bit of cancer."
A silver lining for this tough lady who refuses to give up.
"You just can't help but promise yourself that you're going to be there tomorrow and that's all anybody can try to hope for. I’m no different than anybody else in that all I am guaranteed is right now. That’s all anybody's guaranteed."
Amy invites you to join her for spin for the cure on Oct. 1 at Landmark Health Club. All are welcome. The class starts at 5 p.m. the cost is $25. All proceeds will benefit Susan G. Komen.
This month Komen, the global leader in breast cancer research, announced a bold goal to reduce U.S. breast cancer deaths by 50 percent and focus its research investments on more aggressive cancers and metastatic disease. A goal women like Amy hope can be met in time to give them another tomorrow.