Date of Diagnosis:
Current Treatment Line:
I am taking daily bisphosphonates (Ibandronic acid), oestrogen blocker (Aromasin) and targeted therapy (Ribociclib).
How does SBC affect your life?:
I am 63 and my life has totally changed due to secondary breast cancer. I had primary breast cancer 20 years ago in 2002 when my children were very young and was fortunate enough to to get through it. I couldn’t believe it came back after so long (extensively in my bones and spots on lungs) and have since learned lots about recurrence. My chronic back pain was misdiagnosed for nearly a year by my GP which is something I have challenged in a restorative way to hopefully raise awareness and bring about change.
I thought I was a healthy person, working full time as a social worker, quite active with walking etc however my diagnosis has changed all this. I still struggle with pain and mobility and am getting used to this new life - a much slower pace, still trying to do as much as I can. Sadly I will be taking early retirement which will be a huge loss yet I hope to find other things to do such as volunteering when I’m ready.
Advice for someone diagnosed with SBC:
Allow yourself time to go through the inevitable emotional rollercoaster including huge grief. Your feelings might change by the minute. Cry all you need to. Talk if you need to and don’t be afraid to have quiet time to yourself. Your family & friends will want to help and might need help too.Use your professional support - I was fortunate to have an understanding oncology nurse early on. No question is silly or too small and they know that it’s a tough time.
I read all I could although some people advise against! I avoided statistics and stuck to medical journals, BBC podcasts such as You, Me and the Big C, and George Alagiah’s podcasts, and helpful sites such as this one! Also tried some relaxation classes and discovered reiki which I find invaluable.
Looking back I wonder how I got through those months and it’s true life will never be the same, however there is hope and you will find your way through.