Here All Year

Integrative Oncology Care

Help us spread the word… year-round!

Each month, our Here All Year campaign explored a new topic around metastatic breast cancer—from myth and stigma busters, to new research and strategies for improving outcomes. Want to help make a difference for people living with MBC, all year long? Dig deeper into the research, explore the available resources, watch patient stories and share them on your social and email channels.

Integrative Oncology Care

There is not “one” way to live metastatic. Everyone’s MBC experience is as individual as they are. This month, we discuss how integrative care brings  together the components of mind, body and soul. Enjoy the  testimonial videos, visit the resource pages, read the scientific proof that integrative care is important, and learn why it should be included in all  “Thrivership Programs.” We hope you will be inspired to try something new—maybe a yoga class with Unite For Her or find a mentor at Project Life. Integrative care can improve quality of life, even while going through treatment, which for people living with MBC, is most likely the rest of their life.

This month’s content was developed in collaboration with Unite for HER and Project Life.

Unite for HER (Helping to Empower and Restore) is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to enrich the health and well-being of those diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer–for life, by funding and delivering integrative therapies. Since its establishment as a nonprofit organization in 2009, Unite for HER’s cornerstone has been to bridge this gap for breast and ovarian cancer patients, focusing on wellness initiatives that will positively impact their health and wellness, emotionally and physically. Our culture is one that every person with breast and ovarian cancer will feel the support of a loving community and will have access to comprehensive education, services and treatments to enrich their health and well being allowing them to better adhere to their medicinal treatment plans. For more information, visit and to apply for our program go to or call 610 883-1177. We also serve men through Unite for HIM and HIS Carebox.

Project Life is a membership-based, online, virtual wellness house for those living with MBC and their loved ones that was created by individuals  living with MBC who understand the intricacies of living with the disease. Project Life is designed to support all facets of wellness: from financial and social, to spiritual, physical and emotional. Our “virtual wellness house” is a space where members can find mentors and meet other MBC thrivers, join thrivership conversations, classes, and explore skills and knowledge that empower them to make every day the best that it can be.  We Live Well.  Grow Together. For more information visit: or email

Integrative oncology is a patient-centered, evidence-informed field of cancer care that utilizes mind and body practices, natural products, and/or lifestyle modifications from different traditions alongside conventional cancer treatments.
Food is not just a source of energy. It is the foundation for our body’s ability to handle stresses, heal and continue moving forward. It is the world’s original prescription for wellness.
Make your mental and emotional wellbeing a priority.
Having a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis puts you on an emotional roller coaster. Working with a professional counselor can offer you the tools to enhance your resilience, a safe place to process your feelings, and the opportunity to take care of your emotional and mental wellbeing.
Having a consistent yoga/meditation practice is essential during times of uncertainty and discomfort. That’s where yoga thrives! It helps you work through these emotions so you can stay healthy emotionally – and physically. These modalities can lead to:
  • Improved mood
  • Better sleep
  • Increased energy
  • Reduced Symptoms
  • Stress Reduction
  • Improved Quality of Life
Lakia Belcher is a working wife and mother. She was diagnosed at age 38 with Invasive Carcinoma Breast Cancer that is ER+, PR+ and HER-2-. She ultimately received the diagnosis of Metastatic Breast Cancer after all the tests, scans and multiple biopsies. She has METS to her pancreas, stomach lining, outside of her liver, spine and ribs. Lakia has been in treatment for 8 months taking chemo daily along with other medications, paired with targeted Integrative Oncology Care. She is happy to say that she’s thriving through her diagnosis and makes every effort to stay positive and find ways to laugh through the side effects. She loves cooking, movies with hot buttery popcorn and spending time with her family.
Antonia Velez’s cancer journey started 22 years ago when she participated in a free mammogram screening bus that came around the neighborhood she lived in. They detected a suspicious lesion on her left breast that turned out to be estrogen receptor positive, lobular breast cancer (and DCIS). After almost two decades of being in remission, her oncologist discovered the cancer had metastasized to the bones. She has been in treatment for her MBC for almost 3 years. Antonia was widowed five years ago, and retired during the beginning of the pandemic. She now enjoys her time at church with her church family and cherishes her children and their families, which include 7 grandchildren that keep her entertained and busy.
Melinda Feola-Mahar lives in New Hampshire with her wife and two of their four children. As a family they have provided foster care for dozens of children and supported reunification with birth families whenever possible.  Over her career Melinda has worked to expand, support, and improve community health including mental health services, disability services, and access to healthcare services. Most recently Melinda has worked as a national consultant and technical assistance provider supporting states to improve child welfare delivery services. Project Life, a virtual wellness house, helped her begin to focus on the future. Through classes (Therapeutic Art), discussion groups (Parenting with MBC), book clubs, and more, Project Life gave her the opportunity and the tools to begin living with MBC.
Audrey Small’s cancer journey began in May 2012 with a diagnosis of ER/PR+ HER 2-, Stage 3 lobular breast cancer. With the support of her #1 fan (her husband), her children, and the staff at the breast center, she was able to slowly navigate multiple scans followed by chemotherapy and radiation. Audrey’s metastatic breast cancer challenge began in March 2020. She had a mass on her left ovary, which all of her specialists indicated was most likely a fibroadenoma -- it turned out to be metastatic breast cancer. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and reading suspense novels and historical and general fiction. She likes to exercise through online classes, do yoga stretches, meditate, and walk. She is grateful that with her new medication, she can enjoy life.
At the age of 25, Erika Rich received a de novo diagnosis of Stage 4 HER2+ breast cancer that metastasized to her lymph nodes, liver, and bones. Being young, with no family history of cancer, and having devoted her life to health and wellness, it was news that left everyone mystified. From the start of her journey, Erika decided to advocate for breast cancer and highlight that breast cancer does not discriminate, no matter your family history, age, or level of “health.” Her yoga practice and a positive mindset are tools that help her maintain her vitality throughout 7 different treatments, radiation to the hip and brain, metastasis to 6 different places including her lungs, and the side effects that come with living with MBC. After doing well through whole brain radiation, Erika and her sister started a nonprofit to help her new community by offering resources for overall wellness to help other women thrive the way she has. Erika lives her life with sheer gratitude for each day and by the mantra “Love Over Fear.”
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