My name is Dianne.  

I am 60 yrs old. In 2005 at aged 42, I was diagnosed with early breast cancer. A lumpectomy, mastectomy and 6 months of chemotherapy (Epirubicin, Cyclophosphamide and Flurouracil) followed. I had a Neulasta injection the day after each chemotherapy session to stimulate my white blood cells to help fight any infections as my children were 5 and 3 at the time and were in grade 1 and day care respectively (both cauldrons of germs!).

Following chemotherapy I commenced 5 years of Tamoxifen (an anti-oestrogen medication) as my cancer was oestrogen receptor positive. My scans were clear until 2019 when my shoulder became sore after cleaning out my nan’s unit after she passed away. Tests revealed the cancer had returned in my shoulder, some ribs, in some lymph nodes in my neck and I had a tumour under by ribs. I started another 6 months of chemotherapy (Paclitaxel) and monthly Denosumab injections (to increase bone density and strength). Following the Paclitaxel I commenced Letrozole (an anti-oestrogen medication) and Ribociclib (a newer drug for metastatic cancer). Unfortunately, due to side effects I had to cease both the Ribociclib and the Denosumab. My PET/CT scans were clear until 2021 when the tumour that had ‘gone’ from under my ribs started to get cranked up again. 5 large doses of radiation did the trick. My most recent scans have been clear.

I retired when given my metastatic diagnosis and live with my husband and now 2 adult children who are both full time university students. I enjoy pottering around in my garden, sewing and cooking.  It is a daily challenge living with the side effects of cancer treatment (especially the fatigue and for me, lymphoedema from the portocaths). I try to stay as well and as active as I can with walking, pilates & deep water exercises and am grateful to modern medicine for getting me to where I am.