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This Woman Is Sharing The Gritty Details Of Having Cancer And It's Incredibly Powerful

Holley Kitchen was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer two years ago — even after she had a double mastectomy. Here's how she's living now.

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At 39, Holley was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. She had a double mastectomy as a part of her treatment, but then a year later, her cancer came back — as metastatic breast cancer in her spine and bones.

Courtesy Holley Kitchen

Holley was floored. "Before I became a stage 4 breast cancer patient I didn't know anything about the disease," she told BuzzFeed Life.

Which is why, says Holley, "I felt the calling to spread the real facts. I want to educate people about it."

So she decided to make a video about her experience. To date, it has nearly 1.5 million views.

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According to the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network, "there are no definitive prognostic statistics for metastatic breast cancer. Every patient and their disease is unique."

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According to the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network, around 155,000 Americans are currently living with the disease, and around 40,000 die from it each year.

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Though 6–10% of people are diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer initially, as Holley notes, around 30% are diagnosed with it after an initial diagnosis of early stage breast cancer.

And few know what it's like to live with the disease.

Courtesy Holley Kitchen

"This video movingly captures the struggle that hundreds of thousands of metastatic cancer patients face every day," said Dr. Kathryn Ruddy, the Director of Cancer Survivorship for the Department of Oncology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Dr. Tufia C. Haddad, also of the Mayo Clinic, agrees.

Courtesy Holley Kitchen

"We need to do more to help support the unique needs of patients with metastatic breast cancer," said Haddad. "We all as friends, family, and healthcare providers need to respect their decisions about how they can live their life most fully. We need to listen more, talk less, and simply be there for them."

"I think people are scared to talk about terminal disease," says Holley. "But people with cancer want to share their struggles, fears, and successes."

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While she admits that response to the video has been "overwhelming, to put it mildly," it also prompted her to start a Facebook page aimed at offering support to others living with metastatic breast cancer.

Courtesy Holley Kitchen

"Metastatic disease is kind of the silent killer," she says. "People don't talk about it. I want to continue to talk about the uncomfortable side of cancer."