When were you diagnosed with SBC?
I was diagnosed 3rd March 2019.
How were you diagnosed with SBC?
I was on my last Herceptin for my primary cancer and had an appointment with my oncologist where I mentioned that I had a constant pain in my side that just didn't seem to go away so she sent me for a scan and from that it was discovered I had mets on my spine.
What has been your treatment journey?
I was diagnosed with HER2+ ER/PR + primary breast cancer in October 2017 and had 3 cycles of FEC and 3 cycles of Docetaxol with Herceptin and Perjeta( which I paid £10.5k for as was not approved at that time in Scotland) then had a lumpectomy and 4 weeks of radiotherapy followed by the continuation of Herceptin and daily Letrozole. On diagnosis of my secondary I had 9 cycles of Paclitaxol and then Cyberknife to my spine in June 2019.
I continue on Herceptin and Perjeta every 3 weeks and Denusamab every 6 weeks along with scans every 3 months. Thankfully I remain stable.
What would have helped make your journey so far easier?
More information about SBC, it's so hard to navigate everything when you are given the initial diagnosis.
What advice would you give to someone who has just received their diagnosis?
Take time to come to terms with your diagnosis once you have a clear picture of what the situation is and a plan is in place you will be able to navigate things easier. Do not use Dr Google all the time as the data available can be so outdated and frightening to read so access reliable sources.
Don't be too proud to accept help or ask for help whether that be from family and friends or services run by Macmillan/Maggie's Centres who I had amazing support from and continue to access their services whenever I need them.
Educate yourself on SBC and if you have the energy do all you can to get the message out there and drive change.
Find others living with cancer. I have met so many amazing people through SBC and they 'get it' and are always there to offer support and help.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
So many places and I've been fortunate to travel to many places but find it's often the people you are with that make a place special but if I had to say somewhere it'd be Italy/Sicily followed closely by NW Scotland.
Do you have any great TV/Film recommendations?
Bit of an old one but I love Peep Show and currently watching Sense and Sensibility (the series not the film). TV series would have to be This is Us.
Adore old films with the stars of yesteryear like Danny Kaye, Bette Davis, Gene Kelly etc nothing beats being snuggled up on the sofa watching a cheesy old movie.
I was a prolific reader in the past then things just got in the way but now since joining the newly formed Make2ndsCount book group I've found my love for books again and making the time to read.
Favourites are The Secret History by Donna Tart, Emma by Jane Austen and Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French(this is one I read over and over to my daughter when she was a toddler and we still love it)