Metastatic breast cancer
Fear of recurrence for women with primary breast cancer is a significant psychological challenge – too often, we struggle on our own
Today, I am very lucky to be able to say that my cancer registers on my life via two little pills taken daily, and six monthly CT staging scans to check my metastatic disease is still behaving. So I'm not being hard-hearted and selfish when I say that Breast Cancer Awareness Month means less to me now.
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.
Today, my friend revealed to me that her breast cancer had metastasised to her spine and pelvis. I felt like I had been thrown off a cliff, yet I was standing. I wanted to turn back time, but is that resilience? I wanted to scream and cry but I had promised my six year old daughter to practice her dance moves. 'Mummy, let's start dancing', she said. But how could I?
I've heard this story on more than one occasion. The moral is clear - don't ignore the signs. They may be indirect, but they are the assistance that is needed. That's easy to say, but sometimes it is hard to spot the signs, hard to know what they are and what they mean.
It started in my breast, back in June 2014. It was the familiar story - I found a lump, I had it checked out, it was malignant. I was assured that I had found it early and that it was completely treatable. And so my battle began.