Nancy’s Story

Hello! I am Nancy Gramkee-Cuer and I am living with advanced breast cancer. Not an experience I imagined but one that has been positively impacted by BCCR.

In late December 2015, I entered the Coalition for my Breast Cancer 101, having been diagnosed just a week before with Stage 2B Triple Negative breast cancer. I met with Jennifer Gaylord and Pat Battaglia, 2 angels of knowledge, understanding, and compassion. I left there armed with my tool box for THE battle. I was immediately connected with a PAL: a Peer Advocate Lending Support, a survivor who shared a similar diagnosis and treatment path. She introduced me to Brown Bag Fridays, Voices and Visions writing workshop as well as her “presence” for me whenever I felt the need. I also attended other offerings at BCCR:  book club,yoga, educational sessions, etc. each brought me in contact with amazing individuals fighting this common beast: shared hope and inspiration. By the end of 2016, I was considered to be a survivor with no evidence of disease.

In Fall of 2017, my cancer had returned and spread; I was now considered living with “metastatic disease”. Once again, I turned to BCCR for guidance and joined the “Common Ground: Living with Metastatic Cancer Discussion Group”. Here I found love, support, understanding, acceptance, and courage to not only fight this beast but to live and thrive each moment with dignity. We gather twice a month for a delicious lunch and discussion. We have a topic for reflection and share updates, concerns, and celebrations. It is a safe and welcoming environment led by a skilled and patient facilitator. The “life” in the room is real. The sound of laughter can be heard and the flow of tears is easily supported-it is a part of “our truth” and must be freely expressed for us to heal.  It is true that we are no longer fighting for our “cure” but we fully live with our cancer. This past year we celebrated with a bridal shower for one member, hospital and home visits to those unable to attend a meeting, a weekend retreat full of creativity, humor, and funny pjs.  We also honor and remember those who have passed away; they have forever touched our hearts and are now angels watching over us.

On behalf of my Common Ground “Peeps” (as we call ourselves) I thank you for your generosity in supporting us and BCCR. You make is possible for me to have a safe place to receive the special type of love and support that other metastatic fighters can offer