Giving hope to those affected
by secondary breast cancer

Research. Support. Education.

My SBC Journey: Lesley

22nd November 2020 SBC & Me

Lesley and Ailsa

When were you diagnosed with SBC? 

16th August 2018 - On Madonna's 60th Birthday and the day we lost Aretha Franklin 

How were you diagnosed with SBC? 

Initially, they thought to be a primary patient diagnosed in May as stage 3 patient (Her - Er +) and after a mastectomy with some lymph node removed a bone scan was done. it revealed cancer had spread to a rib. 

What has been your treatment Journey? 

I have been on Palbociclib and Letrozole since 30th August 2018 

I also have Denosumab injects too which have been on and off due to Covid.

Unbelievably I am just starting cycle 30 of Palbociclib.  

I do tolerate my medication fairly well most of my side effects are from the letrozole and having my estrogen levels suppressed. So thinning hair, weight gain, rubbish dry skin, brain fog and insomnia sometimes. All very doable 

However, my cancer journey so far has been all more about the mental strain. The guilt, anxiety and fear. I have two children and the impact on them is hard to carry sometimes. 

However, we have had a really good 2 and a bit years as a family full of fun travel and adventure and I am grateful for modern medicine and the life it has given me so far. 

What would have helped make your journey so far easier? 

Support. I have felt the difference between how a primary patient is treated and a secondary one. The leaflets the sense of support the urgency. That all fell away when I got my secondary diagnosis and I felt alone and left to my own devices. Most of my support and help has been through charities like Macmillian Cancer, Breast Cancer Now and Make 2nds Count. All of which I had to find out about ourselves.  

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

I have a tattoo which read “The Time is Now” – one of my favourite songs by Moloko. It could be everyone's mantra. However especially after a secondary diagnosis 

Be in the now, seize the day, live your life, do what’s right for you, do what makes you happy. 

What is your favourite holiday destination? 

No favourites but I am more of a camper adventure girl than a 5-star beach holiday gal.  

Do you have any great TV/film recommendations? 

I love a true story or a BBC crime drama 

Recently liked Fosse/Verdon and The Honourable Women on the iPlayer