31st January 2021 SBC & Me
When were you diagnosed with SBC?
I was diagnosed in May 2020.
How were you diagnosed with SBC?
I had been undergoing treatment for primary breast cancer and found another lump in my breast before the treatment even finished. I had a scan and they also found a mass on my sternum.
What has been your treatment Journey?
I was diagnosed with primary breast cancer in August 2019. I had three rounds of FEC-T then had to stop early as I kept developing neutropenic sepsis and it was too dangerous to continue. I had a lumpectomy and then started weekly taxol but this was also stopped early due to infection concerns. I was then due to start radiotherapy in May 2020 but found another lump in my breast and unfortunately, a scan showed it had also metastasised on my sternum. I then started oral chemotherapy tablets however the disease progressed in my breast so I had a single mastectomy in August 2020 followed by radiotherapy. Since then I’ve been on Carboplatin chemotherapy and my latest scan showed that the mass on my sternum has shrunk by 50% so I’m continuing with this treatment for now.
What would have helped make your journey so far easier?
I think it would have been helpful if there was more information about SBC out there because I didn’t really know a lot about it or how it’s treated and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of awareness about it. I didn’t even know that my type and grade of tumour meant that I had more of a risk of my cancer spreading. When I was first told I had SBC I went into shock because you just hear that and think there’s nothing more that can be done for you - I think there needs to be the message spread that that’s not how it is these days and it’s treated more like a chronic illness. I am lucky to have a good medical team that supports me as well as my husband, family and friends being there for me.
What advice would you give someone who has just received their diagnosis?
I would say just to give yourself time to come to terms with the diagnosis. At first, it can seem hopeless and like you’ll never feel ok again but it really does get better with time and you learn that there are lots of different treatment options available now. Try to take things one day at a time and not look to the future too much because no one can predict what’s going to happen. Also, don’t be hard on yourself if you’re struggling to feel positive, you need to let yourself feel all the emotions, good and bad to be able to work through it and move on.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
Me and my husband love exploring different places in Scotland because it allows us to take our dogs - we love Glencoe, Arran and Pitlochry but would also really like to visit Skye (my namesake lol).
Do you have any great TV/film recommendations?
I absolutely love Schitt's Creek. It's so funny and a great one to watch when you need cheering up. The Gilmore Girls is also a real comfort watch. Recently I’ve been re-watching Merlin which is also brilliant. My favourite film is possibly Monsoon Wedding or Slumdog Millionaire. I also love Sense and Sensibility.
I love thrillers and crime fiction. Any book by B. A. Paris is amazing. And I love all the books by T. M. Logan, Mark Edwards and L. J. Ross. My standout book from last year was definitely The Whisper Man by Alex North. My favourite non-thriller books from recently are It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. But if it’s my all-time favourite it has to be Harry Potter! Lol.