Meet Five Incredible Women Living With Incurable Breast Cancer

These women aren't stopping for anything, especially not metastatic breast cancer.

MBC Intro

For about 200,000 women and men nationwide, living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) — the most advanced form of breast cancer that spreads from the breasts and underarm lymph nodes to other vital parts of the body — means knowing you have an incurable condition that most people don't understand.

In fact, in some cases, it's more than just a lack of understanding: 50 percent of people in a recent Pfizer Oncology survey said they believe that breast cancer gets worse because patients didn't take the right preventive measures or treatment.

That's why these five inspirational women decided to share their stories. They want to educate the more than 60 percent of people who admit to knowing little or nothing about MBC.

They have families, they have careers and they're not letting MBC stop them from doing anything — it's just something they know they'll have to deal with for the rest of their lives. Get ready to meet five (super)women and see their stunning portraits as part of the Breast Cancer: A Story Half Told project.

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Carol Miele

"This is your new normal. And you need to embrace that and do the best you can with that."

Carol Miele found out she had stage IV breast cancer that had spread to her bone in October 2010. She found solace in writing and painting, which led to the publication of her first book, Metastatic Madness. The 70-year-old retired nurse lives in Florida with her husband and beloved rescue dog, Flora. Learn more about her life with MBC on her blog, guest columns for The Huffington Post and in her latest book, Kicking Cancer to the Curb!

Holley Kitchen

"I want you to know I'm a mom that is fighting for her life for her children."

Holley Kitchen — self-proclaimed MBC #lifer — is a spunky Texas mom of two boys. If her name looks familiar to you, it's probably because she went viral a few years ago after posting a touching video to Facebook with some heartbreaking news: She has stage IV metastatic breast cancer that spread to her spine and bones. In the video, the 42-year-old doesn't say a word, but it turns out she doesn't have to speak to obliterate MBC misconceptions and explain how her treatment will never end.

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Jen Campisano

"God willing, I will walk Quinn into his first day of kindergarten next August. With new therapies on the horizon, there's hope I will dance with him at his wedding, too."

Jen Campisano, 37, first learned she had metastatic breast cancer just five months after giving birth to her son, Quinn. She was 32. Before the diagnosis, Jen admits she was like most women and knew next to nothing about MBC, but since then she's made it her mission to tell her story on her blog, Booby and the Beast, where she sheds light on everything from her treatment to potty training.

Jill Cohen

"When you support research, you bring hope to women like me."

Jill Cohen was first diagnosed with cancer in 1999 at 39 years old, and it returned around three years later when it metastasized to her bones, liver, brain and skin. She's more than 10 years past the median survival rate for MBC, which is 3 years, and has made the most of it by pursuing her love of singing and dancing. She also has a blog, Dancing with Cancer, where she shares her story and motivates other people living with advanced cancers.

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Khadijah Carter

"I feel like I'm blessed so I can bless others and continue to inspire other people through my story. Because I'm still here."

Khadijah Carter was 28 when she found out she had breast cancer. While simultaneously raising her 6-year-old daughter, Carter underwent surgery and chemo and was declared "cancer-free" on the weekend of her 29th birthday. But seven years later, in 2010, she learned her cancer had returned, and this time it had spread to her lungs. She's determined not to let it stop her: Since her MBC diagnosis, she's earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University, started a career as a communications strategist for the NYPD and watched her daughter receive her high school diploma.

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