Nina's story

My name is Nina Doye and I have a gorgeous husband and 3 amazing children age 5, 13 and 15. Also a lovely dog called Stan!

My world was turned upside down aged 38 when I found a dent in my left breast. Diagnosed with IDC (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma) stage 2B with lymph involvement. No family history and no warning! Within 3 weeks I started Chemotherapy (6 rounds) and after round 1 my hair fell out. I was devastated to find myself here. My children painted 6 pebbles for me and we numbered them. Every 3 weeks after each Chemo we would put a pebble on the fire. At the end of the 6 sessions we lit the fire signifying the end of Chemo and feeling so horrible.

I then went on to have a double mastectomy and left node clearance with immediate reconstruction surgery. I managed this well and felt happier waking up with breasts that were made from my body albeit not quite the same as before. The worst part for me was losing the feeling and the constant numbness that has never gone away.

After 6 weeks I started Radiotherapy, 15 sessions having to learn to hold my breath while they zapped away avoiding my heart. Yipee! I reached the end of active treatment! Some hormone therapy to follow for 10 years but I can do that to keep the cancer away.

9 months later - I started to get pain in my jaw. Pain that got worse and numbness. After a long 5 months of asking my Oncologist to check me out, after realising a scan had been done of the wrong area, after a biopsy of the lesion they eventually found I was diagnosed with Secondary Breast Cancer. A PET scan revealed it had travelled. Bones, lymphatic system, thyroid and suspicions lung spots.

My Oncologist put me straight onto the new wonder drug they call Palbociclib and added another few drugs into the mix. My first scan showed good reduction after 3 months. I now await the 6 monthly scan result. Scanxiety gets us all. For secondary cancer this never goes away. Always waiting for those dreaded words - you have progression. I hope and pray mine will remain stable for years and years and years to come. Research is needed, funding required. Our lives matter, our children and family need us.

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