Macmillan Cancer Support

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Having Secondary Breast Cancer

When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000 I was devastated. I had lost my mother to breast cancer when I was 11 years old, and here I was with a nine-year-old, thinking he was going to lose his mum. But I had surgery and hormone therapy, and was signed off after five years, so I thought no more about it. But my cancer hadn’t gone away, it had migrated to my peritoneum (the membrane inside your abdomen), my spine, liver and lung. So in 2011 I started on another set of treatments including three kinds of chemotherapy and three hormone treatments (one of which was part of a clinical trial – but it didn’t work for me). So here I am,four years on from my diagnosis of secondary cancer, in a very glamorous wig and getting ready to go to a very posh banquet in my lovely swirly long black dress. I do what I want, because I’m in charge, not the cancer.I know I won’t be able to be cured now the cancer has spread to different parts of my body but I am living life to the full. My little boy is now a six-feet tall geologist, working on a major construction project, and I want to be around to see him get his Masters degree. So I look after myself, follow doctor’s orders and make sure I am as fit as I can possibly be (my dog helps me with that!) Best wishes to everyone living with cancer and the people who care for them. Remember – you’re in charge!

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