Breast cancer, Cancer

10 years on – a new decade, a new diagnosis

I had hoped, perhaps naively, that once the 10-year anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis came around, I could end this blog for good. Of course, life is never that simple, is it?

I didn’t post anything on my 10-year anniversary on June 22nd because I was fairly certain I was heading for a secondary diagnosis. Sure enough, almost exactly a decade to the day, I found out earlier this month that the original cancer has spread to my bones. It is now stage four, also known as incurable, metastatic or secondary breast cancer, which means it will never be cured, but it can be treated.

I am clutching onto the fact that I got a whole 10 years to live my life to the full without the knowledge that my cancer was still lurking somewhere inside me. In those 10 years I’ve accomplished the most extraordinary things and had the most incredible life.

In particular, 2022 has been the year I’ve fulfilled some lifelong dreams, from launching a podcast to the publication of my first novel, Single Bald Female. Who knows if I would have done those things if I’d known that my cancer had never truly gone away? I know you might feel sorry for me, but I count myself lucky.

Recovering from a bone biopsy at the Royal Marsden hospital

Chapter Two

From today, I’m starting a new chapter, moving my musings to my newsletter, which you can subscribe to here. I’ve written a post about what it all means, what to say and what not to say, and how you can help. I’ve learned so much in the last couple of weeks about how little we know about secondary breast cancer and I know I have a role in helping people to learn and understand. I also speak from the perspective of someone 10 years older than I was when I was diagnosed back in the summer of 2012 at the age of 29.

I might still post on this blog from time to time, particularly as The Big Scary ‘C’ Word still gets a huge amount of love from people searching for guidance on hair loss, infertility, chemotherapy and beyond. But for now, head on over to Chapter Two and stay in touch.

BCSM, Breast cancer, Cancer, MRI, Periods, UK, Uncategorized

Five Years On

Today marks the day that, five years ago, I entered St. Vincent’s Hospital completely oblivious about the state of my health and left with the news that I had cancer. It was a day that would change my life in so many ways, not so much because of the horrors the illness would bring for me but because of the wonderful people I would meet because of it, and those I would lose along the way. Continue reading