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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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This is Holley Kitchen and her two sons.

They live in Cedar Park, Texas.
Courtesy Holley Kitchen

They live in Cedar Park, Texas.

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.

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."
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.

Facebook: video.php

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

Holley talks a lot about what people living with metastatic cancer DON’T want to hear.

“People don’t always know want to say,” she told BuzzFeed Life. “People are kind and good and want to help and want to be supportive — and I think I’m the real side of cancer. I think I said uncomfortable things that people don’t want to say.”

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.

Facebook: holley.kitchen

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.

"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.
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.

"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."
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."

Facebook: video.php

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.

"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."
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."

"I feel a calling. I don't think I'm done."

Courtesy Holley Kitchen
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