31 people die every day in the UK from metastatic breast cancer

There are 31 days in October, and there are 31 deaths every day. By the end of the month 961 women and 6 men will be dead

Secondary Breast Cancer is the biggest killer of women under 50 in the UK

13th October is officially Secondary Breast Cancer day – it is the only day in Breast Cancer Awareness Month that officially recognizes secondary (metastatic) breast cancer, and so, this October we’re bringing you our #IAmThe31 campaign.

All of the people on this page have metastatic breast cancer. They are partners, they are parents, they are friends, they are children.

They live with the knowledge that there is no cure for this disease and that the median life span of someone with metastatic breast cancer in 3-5 years after diagnosis.

Yet, they are #busylivingwithmets. Living full, good, hopeful lives. But without access to more drug lines, better research and a better understanding of metastatic cancer this won’t be the case for much longer.

We are the 31

Jo Taylor

diagnosed feb 2014

Her2+ BC Primary 2007 SBC diagnosed 7 yrs later 2014 5 years Perjeta & Herceptin, letrozole, denosumab, prostap 3 monthly injections to give early menopause (surgeries helped get me back into remission & NEAD, full left neck resection, sternotomy) RT to neck and shoulder SBC in humerus 2020 around 17 metastatic lymph nodes left axilla removed currently continuing on 1st line treatment.

Lesley Stephens

diagnosed march 2014

Diagnosed de novo March 2014 with mets in lungs, liver and bones. I had a cough which wouldn’t go away – thought it was a chest infection but turned out to be stage 4 her2+ breast cancer. I had 12 cycles of chemo which worked well, but then the cancer moved into my brain. I had whole brain radiotherapy, went into Capcetibine which didn’t work, then self funded Kadcyla which also didn’t work. We went on a ‘last’ family holiday, but on my return my oncologist offered me the last space on a phase 1 trial. 5 years later I am still hanging onto that trial by my fingertips. As a result I want every advanced cancer patient to be offered trial options.

Mary Huckle

Diagnosed july 2014

My secondary was discovered in July 2014 by my oncologist during a routine examination. Site was just behind my collarbone (internal mammary chain) Have been ER/PR+ HER2- since primary. Now have metastases in liver, bones, neck and lungs. Have been on various treatments with little success for about 1.5 years, but I’m presently on Eribulin, and have just finished the 4th cycle. I’m happy to say this IV chemo is showing positive results.

Kit

diagnosed 2017

I was diagnosed de novo at stage 4 ER+ in November 2017. I was 33. I was diagnosed after going to A&E with unimaginable pain and nausea. I had lost 2 ribs to the cancer, with mets in both breasts, nearly all my ribs, my spine, pelvis, both hips and left leg.

Emma Robertson

diagnosed feb 2015

I had the full works of treatment for primary ER/PR+ mixed ductal and lobular breast cancer aged 31 in 2013. About a year after finishing treatment, I went for a routine appointment with a breast consultant at my hospital. I had been feeling run down and unwell for a while but it was February so that didn’t seem unusual. The doctor checked me thoroughly and felt that my clavicle area was tender so she arranged for further tests. I’m glad she did because my liver was peppered with innumerable metastatic lesions, my lungs were full of a white cloudy mist, and I also had breast cancer in my bones. I was diagnosed with incurable secondary breast cancer in my lungs, liver and bones, developed a hacking cough, and got a referral for palliative care. Slowly my medication has reduced the disease burden and kept me stable. Five years on and I am still finding new and exciting ways to enjoy life. My life may be limited but I won’t let the disease be limiting.

Emma Fisher

diagnosed feb 2018

In June of 2016 my dog found a painful lump in my boob – I assumed it would be nothing. It was cancer.

8 months after finishing treatment I broke my sternum snowboarding. It had returned in my bones and in the lymph nodes around my body and is now incurable.

I’ve had another 6 months of chemotherapy to keep the tumour at bay and I am having IV treatment of Herceptin and Perjeta every 3 weeks, I take tablets every day, and have a series of injections every month too, all to try and keep me alive for as long as possible. Currently, my cancer is growing slowly, so I am being monitored with scans every 3 months.

Photo of Bex Lewis

Bex Lewis

diagnosed jan 2019

A scan post primary treatment showed a ‘shadow. In and out of many scanners, a biopsy confirmed a small tumour on my spine, early 2019, with my tumour mutating to be Herceptin+. Treated with stereotactic radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and ongoing Herceptin and Perjeta, declared ‘NEAD’ November 2019, with optimism that this could be long term. April 2020 started experiencing chest pain: a routine full body scan (delayed due to COVID) showed tumour pressing on sternum and surrounding lymph nodes. Biopsy: tumour mutated from triple positive to triple negative. Hospital admission: deal with tumour pressing on main veins/a blood clot causing fluid retention. Emergency radiotherapy, and weekly paclitaxel to run through til Christmas to see if this will control the tumours – in which case we continue. If not, then we are running through another treatment option and need to find something else.

Tassia Haines

diagnosed jan 2020

SBC Bone mets 30/1/2020. 10 assessments at GP within 30 days, until I eventually collapsed on the roadside, I was diagnosed in A&E after 13hours. The tumours were found in my legs, hips, spine, ribs and eventually after collapsing again, the skull and neck. I believe I am HER2+ but not entirely sure.

Joanne Myatt

diagnosed aug 2018

April 2006- Diagnosed with ER Positive- 95%, PR Positive 75% and HER2 Negative. August 2016- diagnosed with disseminated liver metastasis with significant bone metastasis. Treatments to date- August 2016 Taxol Chemotherapy weekly- 12 sessions. September 2016- Denosumab.  January 2017- Letrozole. March 2018- Exemestane and Everolimus. June 2018-January 2020 Capecitabine. March 2020 Carboplatin. May 2020 further progression to liver but also new areas of brain and leptomeninges Given four months to live. June 2020 Change of treatment to Fulvestrant August 2020: Stability of liver, bone, brain and leptomeninges. Blocked bile duct also caused further complication and biliary drain inserted permanently. NHS Treatment

Charlotte Kevan

diagnosed july 2017

Invasive lobular carcinoma er8 , pr2 , her2 positive. Sacral and sternum bone mets

Connie Johncock

diagnosed feb 2018

Original DX Her2+ er/pr+ Dec 2012 denovo age 23 with liver mets Treatment hx 6x Docetaxel & Herceptin Surgery (herpectomy) Kadcyla Clinical trials Pipa (palbociclib and taselisib) Tulip Trial (trial drug SYD958) Currently on Capecitabine and compassion access to Neratinib. Denied access to Pertuzumab as had already started herceptin few months before it was approved.

Madeleine Meynell

diagnosed jan 2018

I was diagnosed with primary HER2+ breast cancer aged 43, and was treated with a mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a year of Herceptin. About 8 months after finishing Herceptin I noticed a small lump deep in the soft tissue above my collarbone. The lump grew quickly causing neuropathy in my hand, and was confirmed as HER2+ ER- breast cancer. A PET scan showed it had not spread beyond the supraclavicular lymph nodes. My cancer was treated locally with radiotherapy. After the radiotherapy I was scanned again. My liver had multiple tumours, there was two litres of fluid in my lungs and I had extensive bone mets. I had a hospital admission to drain my pleural effusion and started H&P. After a year my disease progressed to the brain. I was treated with stereotactic radiotherapy. Currently the cancer in my brain has shrunk and I have been stable on H&P for 2.5 years.

Joanna Stevens

Diagnosed oct 2017

Finished treatment for primary in Jan 2017. I started having rib pain in May 2029. Visited my GP who referred me straight back to the breast surgeon. After a chat and exam he asked for a bone scan and I was told at my next appt that I now had secondaries in my bones. It wasn’t until I saw the Oncologist I realised how widespread they are – spines, sacrum, pelvis, hips, tops of femurs, a few ribs

Tracy Robinson

diagnosed march 2019

Diagnosed primary breast cancer HER2positive ER/PR+ Oct 2017. Treatment 3 x FEC and 3 x Docetaxel, Herceptin and paid £10.5k for 3×Perjeta (as not approved in Scotland at the time), Lumpectomy and 20 sessions. Radiotherapy. Continued on Herceptin until Dec 2018. Daily letrazole. NHS treatment
Diagnosed with secondaries to spine March 2019. 9 x paclitaxol, cyberknife to spine.
Herceptin, Perjeta every 3 weeks. Denusamab every 6 weeks. Daily letrazole and adcal.
Private Treatment(provide through work)

Carol Bell

Diagnosed Oct 2019

I noticed my nipple had become inverted and then found a lump and dimpling. Was diagnosed after mammogram, biopsy and ultrasound. Was told treatment would involve chemo, operation then radiotherapy. I am Hormone receptor negative and HER2 positive. After initial CT scan I was told it had already spread .. extensively to liver and also lymph nodes, lungs and bones. I am now stage 4 and incurable. Treatment plan changed to 6 sessions of Docetaxel with Herceptin and Perjeta. Now on Herceptin and Perjeta with Denosumab . Scans have shown improvement in breast and liver but worsening in bones. I am currently also waiting for radiotherapy and a bone biopsy .

Claire

diagnosed aug 2017

I was diagnosed August 2017, 6 years post primary. I knew my cancer was back due to constant pain in my femur. It took me 2 years to convince doctors though! Bone mets were confirmed in femur, spine, pelvis, ribs and skull. Further scans showed mets to liver and lungs. I am E.R.+ and HER2-

Lesley Graney

diagnosed aug 2018

After finding a lump in April 2018 which I put it down to irritation from training for the marathon. I didnt feel ill and was the fittest I had ever been. “It surely can’t be anything” After completing the race I went to GP. By May it was confirmed I had breast cancer, I thought I was a primary patient after a mastectomy and recover I had a bone scan. It showed it had spread to a rib.

Sara Jones

diagnosed aug 2019

Finished treatment for primary in Jan 2017. I started having rib pain in May 2029. Visited my GP who referred me straight back to the breast surgeon. After a chat and exam he asked for a bone scan and I was told at my next appt that I now had secondaries in my bones. It wasn’t until I saw the Oncologist I realised how widespread they are – spines, sacrum, pelvis, hips, tops of femurs, a few ribs

Nicola Owen

Diagnosed March 2018

I was diagnosed in March 2018, following a routine scan, several years after my primary diagnosis of Er+ breast cancer. I was found to have mets to my liver and bones, I am currently stable on first line treatment and have regular maintenance scans to monitor for new areas of metastases.

Kat Hampton

Diagnosed 2020

Finished treatment for primary in Jan 2017. I started having rib pain in May 2029. Visited my GP who referred me straight back to the breast surgeon. After a chat and exam he asked for a bone scan and I was told at my next appt that I now had secondaries in my bones. It wasn’t until I saw the Oncologist I realised how widespread they are – spines, sacrum, pelvis, hips, tops of femurs, a few ribs

Amelia Chau

diagnosed july 2020

I was diagnosed on July 22nd 2020 because of an MRI scan requested by a physio due to back pain I’d had for 9 months. I underwent spinal surgery to stabilise my spine and have just started radiotherapy. Due to start chemo drugs in the next few weeks.

Helen Pike

diagnosed feb 2019

Following an irregular mammogram in Feb 2019 I was diagnosed with de novo metastic ER positive HER 2 negative breast cancer with nodal liver and bone mets. Started on Palbociclib/ Letrozole with goserelin & denosumab. Then progression in liver changed treatment to a trial in Nov 2019 more recently the bone mets are attacking and am now as of Aug 2020 on Placlitaxel.

Vikki Lucas

diagnosed sept 2019

First diagnosed with primary cancer in 2004 at 26, I had surgery, chemo, and rads. My secondary diagnosis was in September 2019, aged 41. This followed a year of pain and repeated visits to my GP. I have mets in my right lungs and bones (sternum, ribs and pelvis). I am doing well on Palbociclib, denusomab, letrazole and zoladex. I continue to work, and enjoy getting into the Peak District with my dogs.

Sarah Larner

diagnosed july 2019

was breast feeding my 4 mo the old daughter when suddenly she became fussy feeding from one side, I noticed a lump, saw the GP and was referred to breast clinic. They felt it was benign, but an US, mammogram and biopsy later confirmed HER2 breast cancer. I had a bone scan which confirms metastasis in my spine, pelvis and ribs.

Anne Marie Thorpe

diagnosed 2010

I was diagnosed with MBC 10 years after my Primary DX. Initially with soft tissue, nodal and spine and sternum mets. Then in 2016 DX with left pleural mets. Nine years of being stable on endocrine treatment. Now on Capecitabine as have had progression to lungs, bones and a new liver met. On Cycle 10 and disease is stable and tumour markers and coming down slowly! My cancer is/was oestrogen positive but not sure now and that treatment’s no longer effective.

Kelly Griffin

diagnosed Nov 2011

Diagnosed with significant liver mets 2 weeks after bc diagnosis. ER- HER2+. Mx and recon, chemo not successful clinical trial of kadcyla left me NED. Second breast cancer diagnosis in June 2015 but was HER2- ER+. Confirmed BRCA2 gene. Double Mx and recon and full prophylactic hysterectomy with oophorectomy. supraclavicur spread. Chemo and rads to chest and neck/jawline. Now been NED for 4+ years without any treatment, very lucky up to now!

Christine O'Connell

diagnosed april 2015

Diagnosed 5 years after primary diagnosis. ER PR +, HER2 Neg, No symptoms until lost consciousness while cycling and woke up in an ambulance. Led to discovery of a brain tumour. PET scans also revealed 2 bone lesions. Following surgery and cyberknife, I was put on Letrozole and Palbociclib.

Therese Barrett

diagnosed april 2015

In September 2014, I started to experience pain around my back, shoulder, neck and hips. I decided to get the pain checked and asked for a colleague to arrange an MRI scan. I expected it to all be fine and eagerly awaited a call from my colleagues letting me know I was OK. Instead, I had a knock on my door. Three of my colleagues had come to my home to tell me the news that they had found cancer in my bones and liver. I completed 6 months of Doxetaxal and commenced on anastrazole, Denusamb and Zoledex. I remained stable (apart from life threatening GI bleed) apart from having an ileostomy in May 2015. In December 2019 I had recurrence in my liver. I started weekly Paclitaxel, Everolimus with exemestane (stopped due to side effects). I remain stable on Faslodex and Abemaciclib.

Angela Oliver

diagnosed 2018

I’m a 46 year old mother of three. I was diagnosed with primary breast cancer in 2017 and stage 4 in 2018. I have mets in my liver and now recently bones.
My cancer is ER+ but resistant to endocrine therapy.
I joined METUPUK as I was devastated to find out how little is being done to improve the pitiful outcomes for those of us with secondary breast cancer. There needs to be a huge shake up of the system or many thousands of us will continue to die annually.
As our founder Jo says, ‘no one else is coming to save us’

Jo Jarvis

Diagnosed sept 2016

I was diagnosed with primary breast cancer in 2015 and completed treatment in May 2016. By July, I was experiencing new back pain so scans were arranged, ‘just in case’. Results came back – nothing wrong with my back but bone mets were found in my sternum and pelvis. Triple positive, the same as my primary, so new hormone treatment was tried first. By January 2017, it was clear this wasn’t working and I was moved to kadcyla (NHS rules meant I wasn’t eligible for other first line chemotherapies). Kadcyla kept me stable for 3 years until progression in the sternum this year. As the UK went into lockdown, I received 5 doses of radiotherapy and am now on my 7th cycle of a tablet chemotherapy.

Jennifer Pope

diagnosed nov 2019

Primary diagnosis May 2019. Due to have DIEP mastectomy in November 2019 and following a CT scan it showed it had spread to my pelvic bone so now SBC. I am on hormone treatment with great responses so far, no active disease on last PET scan. Feeling good and working.

Leanne Kirby

diagnosed april 2019

I had a focal seizure involving my left arm at home, I was taken to my local ED, scanned and told I had a brain metastasis. I am Her2 positive. I had SRS and am currently on 3 weekly chemo, I am stable and living well.

Jo Warren

diagnosed feb 2008

Primary BC May97. Car crash Nov07. Stiff neck checked out on yearly appt Jan08. Gland up. Sent for CT. Various Mets lit up. Liver biopsy. Mets confirmed liver, sternum and lung. Dec19 Mets on right rib9 and both femurs. Her2+

Nicky newman

diagnosed 2018

April 2018, diagnosed Denovo after a failed round of IVF. 3 breast cancer symptoms & chronic back pain. ER+ mets in spine, ribs, pelvis

David

diagnosed July 2017

Diagnosed with primary breast cancer in December 15 aged 45. Then I was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in July 2017. I am now stable.

Anna Webb

diagnosed 2019

I was diagnosed in A&E with a broken neck and hip caused by mbc. Widespread bone mets and difficult recovery from injuries, i am currently stable. PR-ve, HER-ve, ER+ve and have just had a hysterectomy after a 5 month covid-19 delay.

Diane Mackie

diagnosed july 2020

I was diagnosed with primary breast cancer 20 March 2020 and had CT scan before deciding on what treatment and due to being diagnosed days before UK lockdown for coronavirus I was given hormone treatment and there was a nodule on lung they were slightly concerned about. When I went for CT scan in July to see how I was progressing with treatment, the medical team discovered the nodule on lung had shrunk and therefore diagnosed me with metastatic cancer.

Laura Hughes

diagnosed oct 2016

I was diagnosed with MBC on 14th October 2016 after I had been experiencing pain in my right shoulder for several months which i thought was a gym injury. I finally got it scanned and they discovered the whole of the top of my humerus bone was one large tumor and there was also cancer in my spine and pelvis. I was the same as my primary – ER+ and her2+. I had major shoulder replacement surgery followed by 6 sessions of chemo and since then have been kept stable on duel her2 therapy infusions and hormonal tablets and injections

Lisa Fleming

diagnosed may 2017

I was diagnosed de novo with extensive bone mets in my entire skeleton (HER2+ and ER+). Initial treatment was 18 rounds of paclitaxel, herceptin and perjeta (privately funded as it was not available on the NHS at that time). Zoladex was also given. Progression to the brain in Feb 2018, moved onto capecitabine, herceptin and denosumab. 13 surgical procedures to date since diagnosis including 2 x craniotomies, lumpectomy, bilateral oophorectomy, 3 x brain ops due to post op sepsis and pneumonia and 6 x spinal surgical procedures to stabilise collapsed vertebrae. Life is a rollercoaster that has never stopped.

Carole Pollard

diagnosed feb 2020

Diagnosed with primary HER2+ breast cancer on 18 Dec 2019 after finding a lump two weeks earlier. Pushed for bone scan due to ongoing pain. Was diagnosed with extensive bone mets in Feb 2020 (spine, ribs, sternum, shoulders, left arm, hips, left femur, skull).

Jane Smith

diagnosed nov 2018

Apr 2017 Primary BC. Aug 2018 mastectomy. Lymph node clear, no CT scan, no chemo. Cured! Nov 2019 Metastatic BC. CT scan after 15 mths of severe back pain ignored by BC Team. Widespread bone disease & liver mets.

Jane West

diagnosed oct 2015

I was diagnosed, de novo, with Her2+ secondary breast cancer on the morning of my 50th birthday. I have mets in my liver & bones. I had 6 rounds of chemo & herceptin. My 3 weekly herceptin injections have keept my cancer stable for almost 5 years.

Patricia Snow

diagnosed dec 2017

Primary diagnosis 2013 HER2+ BC April 2017 GP referral to local hospital to scan for gallstones. Initially advised of liver mets. Returned to original specialist hospital then advised mets in liver-lung-spine. 2017 First line treatment taxol + herceptin + perjeta 2019 Second line treatment kadcyla 2020 Third line treatment Eribulin chemo.

Rachel Lock

diagnosed june 2018

Denovo diagnosis after originally having breathlessness diagnosed as indigestion. Was eventually rushed to hospital with pleural effusion and respiratory consultant told me unfortunately I had secondary breast cancer and would be referred to an oncologist. I was unaware I was terminally ill until met with oncologist where she explained that I had breast cancer which had spread to my lungs,liver,bones and nodes and that this meant it was incurable.ER+, HER-

Skye Greig

diagnosed may 2020

I was diagnosed metastatic in May this year before I even finished treatment for primary triple negative breast cancer. I was due radiotherapy after my lumpectomy but discovered a new lump before it started. After tests they found local reoccurrence as well as a mass on my sternum. I have since had a single mastectomy and the plan is for radiotherapy to the mastectomy site followed by more chemotherapy. This campaign is so important because there needs to be more awareness of secondary breast cancer and more research for treatment.

Danielle Hambridge

diagnosed nov 2018

I was diagnosed at 29, 6 months after giving birth to my daughter. I had a biopsy that showed I had HER2+ breast cancet; a week later I was told after my first CT scan that it had spread to my liver and was now incurable.

Gemma Ellis

diagnosed march 2018

Stage 4 inflammatory breast cancer her2+ and er+ spread to 2 areas of spine and more recently brain

Carol Pitches

diagnosed april 2017

Primary diagnosis 2013 HER2+ BC April 2017 GP referral to local hospital to scan for gallstones. Initially advised of liver mets. Returned to original specialist hospital then advised mets in liver-lung-spine. 2017 First line treatment taxol + herceptin + perjeta 2019 Second line treatment kadcyla 2020 Third line treatment Eribulin chemo

Rebecca Channon

diagnosed jan 2020

Primary DX confirmed January 2020. CT scan was clear of metastatic disease but due to a suspicious area on my rib I was sent for a PET scan which showed spread to Bones and Liver. Strangely my rib was clear of any disease. So De Novo DX with triple positive receptors.

Kate Paslowski

diagnosed march 2020

I found that my breast had gone hard. A biopsy revealed ER+ cancer. 2 wks later after a further scan revealed bone Mets. Had chemo in 2019. Then tamoxifen. I had to go private for surgery in May 2020 and had a mammoplasty and then radiotherapy in July 2020. Throughout treatment I’ve been on the BAhead trial at the Nightingale unit and massive advocate of taking control of what you can through diet and lifestyle where possible.

Joanne Addis

diagnosed april 2017

Diagnosed primary, had a mastectomy, diagnosed secondary 6 days after mastectomy. Mets in bones, peritoneum, ovaries and fallopian tubes.

Anne Cargill

diagnosed nov 2018

I fell at work, after taken to hospital and xrayed I was told I had broken my neck and back and the had fractures in other places. They told me I had cancer there and then.

Stefanie McGall

diagnosed march 2020

I was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer secondary mets to my liver in March 2020. Biopsies from my breast confirmed this along with CT scan. I am HER2 negative and oestrogen receptor positive.

Keely Joseph

diagnosed june 2019

During monthly check I found hard area above my Foob. It didn’t change after a few weeks so go referred back to breast clinic. Biopsies confirmed BC. Scans showed several areas across my chest in the soft tissue and muscle and also on my back along my reconstruction scar. Er+ her-

Michelle Purdy

diagnosed 2018

In early 2018 I was suffering from an extremely painful back. In March I noticed changes to my left breast. It took only 2 weeks to get an appointment at the breast clinic. That day I was told I had a mass in my left breast. My surgeon noticed my bad back and within 2 weeks I’d had 2 MRIs, a CT scan and a bone scan. I was then told that the cancer was throughout my body but especially concentrated in my ribs, a hip and lungs. My cancer is hormone related and genetic testing has revealed a gene mutation in our family.

Sue Fejzullahu

diagnosed oct 2015

In September 2015 I became breathless after having reconstruction further to primary breast cancer in 2013. The CT scan revealed blood clots in lungs and liver portal vein, I was advised that this was a Tamoxifen side effect. Unfortunately after further investigation I was diagnosed mets in lungs and bones. Receptor status: ER+ PR+ HER2 –

Nicola Grogan

diagnosed oct 2019

Diagnosed Oct 2019 with bone mets to right hip and pelvis after period of hip pain. Primary diagnosis Oct 2011- chemo, radio, mastectomy. Diep reconstruction Oct 2013. ER+ve, HER2+ve – doxectal 6 cycles Jan 2020 now on a maintainance treatment of trastuzamab and pertuzamab every 3 weeks.

Helen Munro

diagnosed sept 2017

I found a lump whilst trying on swimming costumes in August 2017. I was convinced it would be nothing but during an ultrasound the radiologist said “I’m not sure what that is” and suddenly I was having a mammogram and a biopsy. A week later I was told I had stage 2 breast cancer. Two scans and two weeks later, it was stage 4. Incurable. I didn’t even really know what that meant or I couldn’t even process it. My biggest fear was chemo and losing my hair. So I was relieved to start with a relatively “nice treatment”. It’s now been nearly 3 years and it’s been a rollercoaster of treatments, side effects, emotions, highs, lows, breakthroughs and nearly dying. The hardest part is knowing I’ll leave my kids without a mother. I’d give anything to be there for them and watch them turn into whoever they’re going to be. But I can’t dwell on that, it’s too painful. So for now I make the best of whatever I can. I hate that it holds me back and I miss out. However it’s not all bad. We still have great times and I’m lucky to have such incredible friends and family to love and support us.

Lindsay Barnard

diagnosed nov 2017

I found a lump when I was 5 months pregnant. I was seen by an Oncologist that told me it was nothing more than pregnancy changes and to have a follow up after I’d had the baby. When I went back the lump was still there, I had a biopsy and in October 2017 I was told I had a Stage 2, Grade 2 Triple Positive Breast Cancer. At that point, she didn’t want to discuss the possibility of it having spread. It was sent for a Staging CT scan by my new Oncologist. That dreaded day in November we found out my cancer had spread to my liver and was now incurable. Our lives changed forever! I thankfully responded well to treatment (6 rounds of chemo, ongoing Targeted Therapy, mastectomy and liver resection). I was initially refused my surgeries, so opted for a 2nd opinion after providing my own research! And thankfully so far I’m living well with my cancer! But the looming anxiety of restricted lines of drug treatment is never far from my mind.

Donna Sartain

diagnosed june 2020

I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in May 2020. My CT scan was clear for spread-yay! My first chemotherapy was in June 2020 just 5 weeks after diagnosis, which was great during COVID-19. Just before I had my first chemo my oncologist said he would like me to have a PET scan as in internal mammory lymph nodes looked inflamed on my CT scan. I was then told on the phone after my initial chemo that my cancer had spread to my liver and bones and that I have metastatic breast cancer or stage 4 or secondary breast cancer-they all mean the same. They all mean I am no longer curable but “treatable” being the only option. Devastated beyond belief I had to tell my family that the scan giving me the clear for spread was wrong and that I do have breast cancer spread. I had to tell my children this will kill me but we just don’t know when.

If you would like to add your name to our list of metastatic breast cancer #31’s, please fill out the form and tell us about yourself.

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Jo Taylor was diagnosed with primary breast cancer in 2007, and secondary breast cancer in 2014. She founded MetUpUK to campaign for better drug access

 

 

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