It’s that time of year again. Where CrossFitters around the world gather at their local box and pay tribute to the women and men who have fought or are currently fighting Breast Cancer. October is national Breast Cancer awareness and the CrossFit Community never disappoints when coming together for an amazing cause.
CrossFit Fort Bragg would like to recognize a personal friend who is currently going through this battle.
Thirty two year old Air Force wife, teacher and proud mother of two, Alisa Metzger was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2014.
Her then 8 month old son Enzo, and 6 yr old daughter Vivian were attending school in Minot, ND. Alisa had just stopped work at the local Montessori school. Alisa discovered a lump in her breast while nursing. She felt it wasn’t alarming as a nursing mom gets lumps from time to time. In February she was advised to use warm and cool compresses and use a breast pump.The advice nurse told her repeatedly she was experiencing a clogged duct from breastfeeding.
Alisa was not convinced, after sharing her family history of breast cancer, and results from the BRAC testing done in January 2014 she was seen for an appointment.
The doctor did a breast exam and assured her young women have very dense, fibrous tissue and we will just do an ultra sound to see that the tissue looks “normal”. An ultra sound image proved thing to be not so “normal”. The following month a biopsy was done. The week after her 31st birthday her and her husband decide to visit with a plastic surgeon her PCM referred her to, and decided prophylactic double mastectomy was her best choice.
Instead, the surgeon came into the room and began talking about MRI’S and surgery before the end of the month. Holding baby Enzo, Alisa questioned “What are you talking about I’m here to talk about a profalactic mastectomy?”
“I am so sorry, I thought your PCM had discussed your condition with you. You have invasive ductal carcinoma would you like me to give you and your husband a moment in private?”
Alisa and her family’s life changed forever and the breast cancer journey began.
Alisa and her family began care at Walter Reed’s John P. Murtha Cancer Center in June 2014. It was there that physicians discovered Alisa’s cancer had spread to her right axillary lymph nodes. With a sizable tumor in her right breast and lymph node involvement she was diagnosed as Stage IIIa breast cancer with estrogen positive receptors. The surgery was pushed back to give chemotherapy an oppurtunity to shrink the cancer. She has just finished her last Chemotherapy treatment on October 16th, and is currently healing, recovering, and preparing for her double mastectomy in November.
After recovery from her surgery she will go on to receive radiation in hopes of eliminating the lingering cancer cells in the lymph node area. The Air Force has just approved her husband’s move and they are excited to finally be together again after a four month separation, as she battle’s cancer. Vivian is transitioning well at her new school in Virginia, and Enzo has just celebrated his first steps, followed by his first birthday. It’s a very big year for everyone. Alisa continues to seek and feel God’s presence in her life daily. She has found a new meaning to life. She treasures relationships and special moments she has with her children and family. She never wishes for a day to pass or a week to be over. Without words she teaches people that watch her to value and treasure the simple things in life.
Every day, one less woman, one less man, one less athlete is amongst us. Our goal is indeed a lofty one,we aim to achieve the unachievable; To ensure that everyone gets access to detection services. Together, with one unified voice, we can make a difference.