My life living with secondary breast cancer means that every day is like New Year, every day I have to pledge to live that day better than the last.
I could not walk this secondary breast cancer road without my family and friends supporting me and holding my hand. They are the people I cry on, the people who accompany me to appointments and the people that I am fighting to stay alive for.
What’s that new pain? Where is it? How bad is it? What type of pain is it? How long has it been hurting? It’s the last question that becomes the most pertinent when living with secondary breast cancer. If it’s been more than 48 hours then it’s time to call the hospital and get their guidance.
Is screening for early identification of the symptoms of “the Big C” vital for your health? Or is it a slippery slope to potentially damaging and invasive treatments for something that might never develop?
Those are the statements that go around my head all the time, there are plenty more and I’ll share those with you over the coming months. They sit on my shoulders and shadow my consciousness most of the time. But occasionally I am able to forget, the weight lifts and it’s lovely.
Jenny Downham, the author of “Before I Die”, about a young girl living with a terminal diagnosis, has just seen her book turned into the new film, “Now is Good” (out this week), starring Dakota Fanning.
Secondary breast cancer: ‘I live with a black hole for the future so the present is all I can enjoy’
The hardest thing about this journey for me is having to accept that life has changed. In my head I’m still the strong Issy that nothing affects, when in reality it’s more like I’m held up with cheap scaffolding, anything can knock one of those supports out, from bones flaring up to new pains or needing wheelchairs when I’m embarking on big days out.
My research group is interested in cell growth and cancer – we work on human cancer cells, but many of our ideas have come from studying growth in flies.
Yesterday was a reassuringly positive day. I tabled the second reading of my Smoke-free Private Vehicles Bill, which aims to legislate against people smoking in the car when children are on board. Whilst no peer voiced objection to the principle that children need protection, there was some debate over the method through which this could be achieved.
‘One day’, I thought as I lay completely paralysed, ‘I would like to write a book that will help somebody else to get through a shit time’. When I was diagnosed with cancer and my boyfriend dumped me, I realised that day had come.
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