breast cancer now
What today’s approval of the lifeline drug Perjeta on the NHS means to me
It used to surprise me, but not anymore. It's become the norm. There are plenty of other questions that could be asked - "how are you feeling?", "can I do anything to help?", even - "do you need a hug?" Anything but, "so, how long until the doctors think you're going to die?"!!
Having a cancer diagnosis can be tough at times. And lonely. It changes you as a person. You have to find a new normal. You almost grieve for the life you had yet it's so hard to look forward as the future is so uncertain.
Although most people are diagnosed when they spot something unusual, less than half of women in the UK are checking their breasts regularly. The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat - another reason to get into the habit of checking.
Why would I even contemplate breaking it to them? How could I tell my impressionable 14 year old son and my innocent 10 year old daughters that I might soon be leaving them forever, or that their mum was going to be very unwell at the very least? Every time I thought about it, the lump in my throat would swell.
Breast cancer patients spend the five years following their diagnosis at the highest risk of reoccurrence with no clear test available to us. We rely on scans and 'awareness of changes' followed by the excruciating wait for our results.
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.