Why Being Vocal With Metastatic Breast Cancer Is So Important
Blogger and YouTuber Nalie Agustin shares how she kept her head high during breast cancer treatment by sharing her story.
A metastatic breast cancer diagnosis is not a muzzle – keep talking
In 2016, Nalie Agustin, 28 years old at the time, was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. With a popular blog, The Diary of Nalie, and YouTube channel, The Nali Agustin Show, she didn’t want to hide. She wanted to keep sharing. Keep talking.
And leads to her #BHmoment: “On September 23rd, 2017, I finally took my story, channel and vision offline and hosted The Nalie Show LIVE,” she says. And she also recently became the ambassador for It’s About mBC Time. It is “a campaign that’s raising awareness across Canada about metastatic breast cancer – mBC – and the unique needs of women living with it.”
About her live talk show
“It was my first live talk show on stage at St-James Theatre in Montreal, in front of a big audience. The show included interviews with special guests, from celebrities to ordinary people with extraordinary stories of resilience as well as special performances, games and giveaways.”
Why was it important for her to be so outspoken about her experiences
“When you are diagnosed with at 28 years old, you realize time is precious. You stop taking tiny steps and start taking giant leaps to achieve your goals instead. One big lesson I’ve learned this year is to stop waiting for opportunities. If you truly want something, create it,” she says. “It was important for me to achieve this dream now, to prove to other women fighting metastatic breast cancer that despite our illness, we can thrive.” She adds that 50 per cent of Canadians don’t know what mBC. “Bringing my show to a bigger stage also helps to raise awareness of the disease itself. […] It’s an incurable disease that needs more research and support, which is partly why I became an ambassador for the cause.”
What motivates her to be so open
“In 2013, I was diagnosed with stage-2 breast cancer at 24 years old. I launched my blog and my YouTube channel as a diary, documenting what it was like to live with cancer in your 20s. It was my therapy. My way to express my feelings and let it all out. Little did I know that my videos would inspire, educate and spread awareness to thousands of people worldwide. Knowing that I was helping others gave purpose to my journey.”
She adds that after being told she was cancer-free in 2014, she wrote the e-book Chemo Secrets, and started planning The Nalie Show.
Sounds like perfect ending to her cancer journey. But it wasn’t over.
“In 2017, just as I was about to launch my first episode, on January 6th, I discovered that the cancer returned to the lungs,” she says, adding that it was stage-4 metastatic breast cancer (mBC). “I had to start chemotherapy all over again. This time, my oncologist looked me in the eyes and said that it was incurable. The news was extremely traumatic and I was in shock for weeks. After grieving and accepting this new reality, I decided it was time to practice what I preach. Despite treatments being twice as hard, I launched The Nalie Show online with an episode every Monday.”
She is now cancer free – again. “I wanted to find a way to gather my online community who’ve supported me from the start and give back. That’s where the idea for The Nalie Show Live came from.” A portion of the proceeds were donated to mBC research.
The biggest tip she tells friends.
“Be kind to yourself.”
And she wants you do something.
“Watch the amazing video on mbctime.ca,” she says. “It highlights how precious time is – a beautiful connection to the importance of living your dreams and achieving your goals – all while shining light on the serious side of breast cancer that many avoid to address.”photo credit: IQ Photography