Voices Podcast – Episode #2: Living Well with ‘Chronic’ Breast Cancer

Duncan and her husband snowshoeing.

Duncan and her husband snowshoeing.

Shortly after she was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer, Duncan Finigan met with her oncologist, Eric Winer, MD, at the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber.

“I can’t deal with this ‘stage’ thing,” Finigan told him right away.

In response, Winer said Finigan didn’t have to refer to her disease as “stage IV.” Instead, he told her she had a “treatable, non-curable condition.”

Finigan felt the weight of the world lift off her shoulders.

“While [metastatic breast cancer] is something that is ultimately life-threatening, it is a very treatable condition,” says Winer, who is the director of the Breast Oncology Program in the Susan F. Smith Center. “There is a lot of research going on and there is almost a certainty that we’re going to have new drugs available during the course of [Duncan’s] lifetime – the treatments we have today may not even be a fraction of what we have five or ten years from now.”

That advice, Finigan says, has allowed her to put her diagnosis into perspective and live life to the fullest.

“When I face a problem, my cancer has given me the opportunity to step away and say, ‘Does it really matter? Is it that big of a deal in your life?’” she says. “Or, I can just enjoy my life, get what I need to get done, and move on.”

Hear Finigan’s story by listening to the podcast episode below or click “download” to listen later. Subscribe options are also available via iTunes, Google Play, the Stitcher app, TuneIn app, and RSS.

The Voices podcast series features stories from cancer patients who share their experiences coping with their life-changing diagnoses and treatment. Season 1 of Voices features breast cancer patients. Visit the Voices page for more episodes and Dana-Farber’s podcast page for more information on other cancer podcast series.

Comments Sort By Newest

One thought on “Voices Podcast – Episode #2: Living Well with ‘Chronic’ Breast Cancer

  1. Thank you! This mirrors my experience in so many ways and helps me to know that I’m not crazy for thinking of my diagnosis in this same manner. Duncan, you and I seem to be cut from similar cloth. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s something I’ll carry with me in my little internal library to refer to when the doubts and fear start to creep around.

  2. Thank you! This mirrors my experience in so many ways and helps me to know that I’m not crazy for thinking of my diagnosis in this same manner. Duncan, you and I seem to be cut from similar cloth. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s something I’ll carry with me in my little internal library to refer to when the doubts and fear start to creep around.

Comments are closed.

Make An Appointment

For adults: 877-960-1562

Quick access: Appointments as soon as the next day for new adult patients

For children: 888-733-4662

All content in these blogs is provided by independent writers and does not represent the opinions or advice of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute or its partners.

Latest Tweets

Dana-Farber @danafarber
Judy Wilkins tried four different #chemotherapy regiments over 18 grueling months to try to put her #lymphoma into… https://t.co/hkG0KBDuTD
Dana-Farber @danafarber
RT @KraftBloodDonor: The holidays are often a special time of need for blood and platelet donations. Schedule your life-saving donation now…
Dana-Farber @danafarber
Why is pancreatic cancer so difficult to treat? https://t.co/3DIHEM7iBh #pancreaticcancer https://t.co/SYNrSYfI5B

Republish our posts on your blog

Interested in sharing one of our stories on your blog? Feel free to republish this content! We just ask that you credit Dana-Farber, link to the original article, and refrain from making edits that change the original context. Questions? Email the editors at insight_blog@dfci.harvard.edu.