Giving hope to those affected
by secondary breast cancer

Research. Support. Education.

My SBC Journey - Chris

4th April 2021 by Chris Donson SBC & Me

SBC Me Chris Donson

When were you diagnosed with SBC?

I was officially diagnosed in April 2017 but it's highly likely that I was secondary from April 2014.

How were you diagnosed with SBC?

I was having clear mammograms so I wasn't worried about it.  I had a bad night with a rapid heartbeat and felt a bit rough.  I was convinced I had a virus or infection, so I went to see my GP the following morning.  I was so convinced I would just get some antibiotics and go back home that I had left everything ready to go into the slow cooker!  The Dr was a locum, who was convinced that I had a heart condition that he also had, so he rang 999 for an ambulance to send me to hospital.  The paramedics arrived and as you can imagine my heartbeat grew faster!   I was taken to resuscitation, wired up, put on a drip and blood was taken.   When the results came back, they said my heart was working fine but was a little too fast however the blood test had shown a possible blood clot in my lung.  It was at this point I rang my husband at work and told him.  I then had a CT scan, the first one ever.   When the Dr came into the room, I then realised it wasn't going to be good news.  I didn't have a blood clot, but they had found something that looked like cancer.  I had a bronchoscopy to confirm it was actually Breast Cancer and then I was referred back to Oncology.

What has been your treatment journey?

Lumpectomy, IV Chemo, Radiotherapy, Tamoxifen, Anastrozole, Fulvestrant Injections with Abemaciclib, Capecitabine, Gamma Knife (brain stem)

What would have helped to make your journey so far easier?

Definitely knowing more about SBS and not relying on mammograms.  Having a CT or MRI when I was first diagnosed and knowing when my secondary began.  Not thinking I was going to die quickly and rushing to change things when I could have taken my time.

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

Don't google endlessly.  Give yourself time, be kind to yourself and don't think it will all end tomorrow, it won't.  Accept help where you can and join a good support group/site, like this one, as the only people who can really understand how this all feels are the ones going through it.

What is your favourite holiday destination?

Italy preferably Sorrento or the Amalfi coast.  I also love cruising.

Do you have any great TV/ film recommendations?

Line of Duty, The Green Book (film) Dark Waters (film) Apple Mortgage Cake (film)

Favourite Books?

'The Woman who Went to Bed for a Year' (Sue Townsend) 'Why Mummy Drinks' (Gill Sims) and with my grandchildren it has to be 'Room on the Broom' (Julia Donaldson)