Tamsin is a social worker living in South London with her family. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 and 2012. She is very proud to be supporting the work of Professor Nazanin Derakhshan, a Professor of Experimental Psychopathology, a cognitive and affective scientist, and director of the BRiC Centre (Building Resilience in Breast Cancer).
I ask myself who am I now? I look in the mirror and see my broken beauty. I see that my flaws are as much a part of me as my grace. I see the sacrifices that I've made to live. I see the ghost of my former self lingering in the background and I know I must let her go. It's time to start thinking about the future.
Plenty of people will tell you that you're 'strong' and 'brave,' that 'you have to get on and kick cancer's butt'. But underneath all this fighting talk, you might be just plain scared. We want you to know that we didn't feel brave. We felt there was never any choice but to go on.
Kadcyla is a wonder drug, keeping my lung tumours stable and healing the cancerous tumours in my spine to a point where there is No Evidence of Active Disease. I know others who've had similar amazing results, enabling them to return to work, care for their families, and contribute to society at large.
I know that you're worried that this could be your last Christmas on this earth, but you thought that last year, and the year before. Life is a bitter-sweet gift - as Emily Dickinson said, "That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet" - and knowing this brings both sadness and joy.
Given the widespread ignorance about secondary breast cancer, it's perhaps unsurprising that Mrs May doesn't know that 'secondary breast cancer' doesn't mean getting breast cancer twice. Nor is it referring to a less serious breast cancer.
A turning point came when I discovered there were women like me, women who shared some of my feelings and worries. When C.S. Lewis wrote "Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: 'What you, too? Thought I was the only one'" he could never have imagined the friendships which grow between people affected by cancer
I didn't know my future held breast cancer. But what if you could change your high risk genetic inheritance? Information about inherited risk offers us the chance to change our genetic destiny, to alter our future. I've learned to feel empowered by this knowledge; it's meant I can manage my ongoing risk and give myself the best chance of living a long and healthy life.
The point is, unlike Angelina Jolie-Pitt I don't love being in menopause. You see, I just don't think Simone de Beauvoir was referring to the menopause when she said, 'One is not born a woman - one becomes one.' Without ovaries, my body can't produce oestrogen and without oestrogen, I feel like I'm a woman 'unbecoming.'
I was on a course recently where we were asked to introduce ourselves by sharing a memorable date. With a sinking heart, I thought frantically - When did I pass my driving test? Move into my own home? I thought about my first date with my partner - 13th February, twenty-or-so years ago, but really, who wants to admit to having the equivalent of their wedding anniversary on Valentine's Day? (Reader, I didn't marry him).
The good news is that secondary breast cancer can be treated. The bad news is that it can't be cured. Treatment aims to slow down the spread of disease, to relieve symptoms and give the best possible quality of life, for as long as possible.
Being diagnosed with cancer is like being catapulted into another world - the Land of Illness - unlike Mordor, the landscapes are bleached and bright, but just as dangerous. It's a world ruled by men and women wearing white coats, speaking a foreign language, with unfamiliar rules - bad things happen to good people. Unsurprisingly, we are desperate to leave.
By February 2011, I had not had a period for over a year which, according to online information meant I was officially 'post-menopausal.' My body, however, had other ideas and my periods returned, ending up in a reversed menstrual cycle - a three-week period, with one week off. It was hellish.