I am a mother to a wonderful adult son and have been married since December 1988. I have always taken on challenging roles within my work life as I do enjoy a challenge. This latest challenge is by far the most intense but also the most calming I have undertaken.
I was 38 in 2004 when originally diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer tumour (technical stuff – Grade3 2B PR+ ER-). No reason at all that would have given me any idea it was coming. It just did. I decided very early that this terrible disease was not going to get me and worked very hard and took on every treatment available for my cancer at the time. It was neither fun or sexy, it was just something that needed to be undertaken. I ensured that I learned as much as I could and took the treatments and side effects head on.
Eventually after undergoing a lumpectomy with auxiliary clearance of 16 nodes, chemotherapy, radiation and then Tamoxifen I was given the all clear and each year after that as well. My life returned to “normal” and I began to slot back into the rat race. Even though the thought of Breast Cancer had moved from the front of my thoughts over to the rear, they were still there. My mammograms continued to show clear and I slowly began to believe I had passed that intensive and terrible part of my life. I had become a survival statistic at 5 years and was well on the way to the next statistic marker of 10 years when on almost my 8th anniversary to the day, was diagnosed with Secondary (Advanced, Metastatic) Breast Cancer in my bones, lung and later on in my ovaries.
I have stopped work, but I am still looking to be active and be able to contribute to the community in other ways. So for now, my occupation is “Occupied by Life”. Writing is a huge help. I get to bring my inner most thoughts and place them on a page. I also love photography and hope to share these as well. Many of the items I post are pictures taken by me.
First time around in 2004 an unwavering positivity and staying informed got me through (not cured it but just made it easier to deal with). This time around it is the same and there are so many more things to discover.
But mostly, I really just want to share my experiences and information that I learn to show people that anyone with Breast Cancer and unfortunately, Secondary Breast Cancer are not just statistics, not just an unacceptably large set of numbers on a page. We are all real. We are all known by someone. We all fight to be rid of this disease. We all count and we all we want to live.
I invite you to share my story and walk with me on my path for just a little while