Giving hope to those affected
by secondary breast cancer

Research. Support. Education.

My SBC Journey: Alison

17th January 2021 SBC & Me

Alison Tait

When were you diagnosed with SBC?

1st August 2016 de novo 

How were you diagnosed with SBC?

I had an appt at the Breast Clinic at Edinburgh Western General following a referral from my GP about a breast lump. They were able to confirm breast cancer following a mammogram and an ultrasound sound. Biopsies were taken from 3 separate sites and I went back 3 days later for full-body scans. I had 3 breast cancer tumours in my liver. 

What has been your treatment Journey?

What has been your treatment Journey? Pretty intense at the start. I had 6 rounds of docetaxel with Herceptin and Perjeta. My disease responded really well and my oncologist suggested another 3 rounds of these. I was heartbroken but necessary to help extend my life expectancy. I continue on Herceptin and Perjeta every 3 weeks and in Sept 2017 my scans were clear! In April 2018 I gave up on Perjeta as it made my skin itchy to the point of keeping my awake at night. I’ve continued in Herceptin since. My disease remained under control until I noticed a dimple in my breast, it was also very itchy. A mammogram confirmed that cancer had returned. I had a mastectomy followed by 15 rounds of radiotherapy. The biopsy identified disease that was sensitive to oestrogen and was prescribed Tamoxifen for this. As my progression was local I’ve been able to continue on Herceptin which I’m very grateful for.

What would have helped make your journey so far easier?

The absence of covid. As much as I’m happy to live a quiet life I’ve not been able to travel and see friends how I’d planned. These events create fantastic memories and I’m gutted to have missed out on these.

What advice would you give someone who has just received their diagnosis?

That the treatment is doable and that living well with secondary cancer is achievable. 

What is your favourite holiday destination?

Oh my goodness.....there’s so many. I love the Greek islands....and the food.....

Do you have any great TV/film recommendations?

I loved Mr Selfridge and was so sad when I learned that they weren’t making any more series of it. Outlander is also a brilliant watch.  

Favourite books?

I’ll read almost anything and everything. A book that sticks in my mind is the Keeper of Lost Things. Such a beautiful story. Not many books stick with me as this one has.