24 July 1940 – 10 September 2011
BEGINNNING OF JOURNEY
I was diagnosed in September 2005 with invasive ductal carcinomas in my left breast. A lumpectomy ensued followed by chemo and radiotherapy. The chemo was a challenge as I was hospitalised several times with complications. Hair loss was not a drama as I had invested in an auburn wig and really enjoyed the radical change of colour.
DIAGNOSIS OF SECONDARIES
After two and half years of Tamoxifen another mass in my left breast comprised of lymph nodes (18) and tumours on the liver were diagnosed. Another lumpectomy and auxilliary dissection, and insertion of a porta-cath followed. Just to make life more interesting I developed lymphoedema in my left arm! Out came the auburn wig again, but this time we had a champagne morning tea and our friends/family all had a go at tidying up the fallout.
I started on Taxotare but was unable to complete cause as again I became very toxic. Extra challenges included insulin-dependent Type 2 Diabetes and a DVT at the porta-cath site. Femarra was only successful for a short while as the liver mets continued to grow. I also developed “trigger fingers” on both hands and have had corrective surgery. Aromasen became my drug of choice but mets were recently diagnosed in my right hip and I am undergoing radium therapy for the pain which certainly has eased.
I am “glass half full/Pollyanna” person and try to enjoy life to the max. I am definitely NOT a BC survivor (as this has connotations of a battle), but a person living with Advanced Breast Cancer – like any relationship we have a good and bad days. Strange as it may seem I think I am a better person for my experience – more aware of others and Nature, more tolerant and hopefully a better person.
I am 68 years young – wife/carer, mother, mother in law, aunt, nana and soon-to-be great nana. Brian and I have been married for 48 years and are blessed with three children and six grandchildren. My family are the most important part of my life and are extremely supportive.