What Happens After Breast Cancer Comes Back

Allie Vreeland has been diagnosed with breast cancer not once, but twice. The first time, she was just 27. Then, at 28, she found out her breast cancer had spread to her liver. "Cancer woke me up, but then it really woke me up the second time," she says. Following that second diagnosis, Vreeland is now one of an estimated 150,000 people living with metastatic, or stage IV, breast cancer in the United States. Stage IV breast cancer is responsible for virtually all breast cancer deaths, yet only between an estimated 2% and 7% of the funds raised for breast cancer research go toward investigating metastasis. These facts are frustrating, Vreeland says."It's definitely true that the awareness is not there." And while more research and a cure is her ultimate hope, of course, she also wishes people were more aware of the toll cancer and its treatment takes on your body, your self-image, and your emotional life. Breast cancer has fully changed the course of her life, and these days, Vreeland is trying to find her way back to herself in this new normal. "I'm trying to embrace the person that I am now," she says. "I'm still here. I'm still alive, and I'm still me, with or without breasts." See Vreeland's story in the video above, and learn more about her — and two other women living with Stage IV — here.

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