We're not asking Roche to give Kadcyla away for free; we are simply asking them to offer the NHS a price that is affordable until a long-term solution can be found, and give clinicians the tools they need to help secondary breast cancer patients.
If I sound like I'm bitter about it, I am. I'm angry, sad, frustrated and I'm pissed off that I have to make these decisions. I'm pissed off that I can't wear nice lingerie because my new boobs don't fit into any bras. I'm pissed off because I don't have nipples and I'm currently having tattoos done every month, which hurts. I'm pissed off because I have scars that won't go away.
Understanding the pressures from society to get 'back to normal' after the death of my wife, it's evident that many women find it very difficult to do just that after breast cancer. The mental and/or physical scars remain, even though the world around sees a person who has 'beaten it'.
If my mum had this surgery all those years ago I would still have her here to guide me. Instead, I have a memory box full of random items such as an old pill box and her hospital bands. To most people these might seem like junk, but to me it's all I have left of her. Now and then I go and sit on the floor and empty the box and read some of the notes in there and her old diary.
Finding out that my wife Mair had breast cancer was a huge shock for all of us who loved her. At 41, she was vibrant, full of energy and had shown no...
It's exciting but it's early days - not all research works (otherwise we wouldn't need to do research!) but the only way we can make progress is by investing in things we believe can make a difference to people's lives.
My bitterness towards you comes and goes. I know it's going to take me time to trust you again. But equally I've watched with amazement at how you've taken on this new challenge with aplomb. You've been prodded and poked and stabbed and jabbed. You've healed and strengthened and moved on and adapted.
I knew ovarian cancer existed but it wasn't really on my radar in the same way, say, breast cancer is - and I made a fair few assumptions about it. Surely my yearly cervical smear would take care of everything 'down there', right? Wrong. Smear tests detect cancer of the, well, the cervix. Turns out there are lots of other gynaecological cancers too.
There are certain realities you have to face when you have a cancer diagnosis. Life is never going to be quite the same again. Chemotherapy saps your strength and energy levels and the radiotherapy is sore long after you leave the unit, but worse than the treatment itself, for many women, is the hair loss.
I have never had breast cancer. I have watched 2 of the people I love most die of breast cancer. I had a double mastectomy to avoid it. I wasn't sure that i would know what to say but I of course said yes. I'm really glad I did say yes.
When I get up on a morning now, everyone is still asleep. I get up in silence, creep around the house getting ready for my run before returning, showering, and getting ready for work as quietly as possible. I walk through the door on an evening now and I see and hear nobody. It's silent.
I remember wanting to find someone like me. Some one who was in my situation. I wanted to know if we thought the same things, if we felt the same way. Did other people worry about what I worried about? Where they more confident in their decision making?
At the diagnosis appointment my surgeon went straight on to suggest a mastectomy followed by a stomach tuck to reconstruct a new breast, and explained how they'd have to reduce the other breast as I was fairly well endowed and it was unlikely they could reconstruct to match.
This group has been invaluable in helping me come to terms with my post-surgery body. Being part of this community I know I am not "militant" as one of the hospital nurses described me, but just a woman who was absolute in her resolve to avoid any additional surgery. For me, getting back to normal life after cancer is not about getting a new breast but getting as healthy as possible, as quickly as possible. The truth is I have lost my breast to cancer and no surgery will replace it.
Together, we must fund relentlessly, collaborate profusely and campaign effectively until breast cancer ceases to take the lives of the women that we love. Our promise is to tackle the disease from all angles: to prevent it developing, to detect it earlier and to improve the quality of treatment and services for women living with it.
Female breasts, depicted in a non-sexual way, by a female artist, are not allowed. In other words, if women's breasts and nipples are not in service to babies or men, or have not suffered cancer, if they simply exist on a woman's body, they must be covered.