Name: Emma Saville

Age: 43

Region: Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Diagnosis: Primary diagnosis April 2018, Metastatic diagnosis December 2020. ER+ HER2-  metastatic cancer to the spine

Age at diagnosis: 39 (primary breast cancer), 42 (secondary breast cancer

Hi I’m Emma I live in Wakefield with my husband Chris, our 3 year old daughter Erin, Travis the dog and our cat Lizzie

I found a lump in my right breast 3 weeks before my daughter was born, everyone including the doctors thought it was pregnancy related however when it was still there several weeks later I was referred to the Breast clinic.

No-one was more devastated than me to discover it was breast cancer and it had spread to my lymph nodes. I was a new mum to a 9 week old baby. I was supposed to be enjoying time with my daughter on maternity leave instead I was plummeted into a whirlwind of intensive cancer treatment. I had a mastectomy and auxiliary lymph node clearance, 6 months of chemotherapy and 15 sessions of radiotherapy.

 I finished treatment in December 2018 and tried to come to terms with my diagnosis and get on with my life. The following year we got married and had the most amazing day in the Lake District. It was on our honeymoon in Thailand, my dream holiday destination, when I felt that something wasn’t quite right with my back after a Thai massage. I got it checked out on my return to the UK and was reassured that it was just muscular. I continued with a mild backache but put it down to stress from losing my dad from COVID and hunching over a laptop working from home during the pandemic.

It wasn’t until my back ‘went’ the day we were due to go back to the Lake District for our wedding anniversary that further investigations showed that my cancer had returned in my spine. My back going that day turned out to be a vertebrae collapsing! I had climbed a mountain 3 days after that happened!!

I was diagnosed with incurable metastatic breast cancer just before Christmas 2020, three days later I was then told I would need spinal surgery to stabilise my spine. So in February 2021 I had a major operation to insert a large rod into my spine, followed by 10 rounds of radiotherapy. Following this I started on Ribociclib (a targeted therapy drug) and anastrozole (hormone therapy), and I have monthly zoladex and denusomab injections. My last CT scan was inconclusive so I am currently waiting for the results of my next scan to see whether the treatment is working or not. 

Why you wanted to be involved with the MetUpUK campaign: I wanted to be involved in raising awareness of metastatic breast cancer and the issues that we currently face.

Twitter – amamyb

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