In 2012, the unthinkable happened to our family, my Mum was diagnosed with ER positive breast cancer. She was in the shower one day and felt a lump, so immediately booked a GP appointment. Never in a million years did she think it was going to be cancer, but she wanted to check to be on the safe side. The few weeks that followed seem like a blurr but in the space of 3 months my Mum had gone from not having a care in the world to undergoing a mastectomy, discovering the cancer was also in her lymph nodes, having them removed and starting chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Our whole world was turned upside down and it was utterly heartbreaking to see my Mum so poorly and lose her hair. Anyone who knows my Mum will know how glamorous she is, so for her it was as if a part of her was missing. She was a shadow of her former bubbly self, but she fought really hard and after six rounds of chemotherapy she was given all clear.
Given that her cancer was driven by oestrogen, she needed to take Tamoxifen to ensure her body was not producing any oestrogen. She had an annual mammogram to keep an eye on her and thankfully after five years she was officially in remission.
Since then, life has been good. She’s watched her three children become adults, had lovely holidays with Dad and she has become a Grandmother to Oliver, Ella and Harrison. Nothing gives her greater joy than being with them, taking them to the park, reading them stories and playing in the garden. Nanny Sha really is the apple of their eye!
In February 2020, my Mums worst nightmare came true. She had been experiencing breathing difficulties since Christmas so went to the GP to get it checked and was referred for a scan. Unfortunately, the cancer had returned, and she has now been diagnosed with stage 4 Metastatic breast cancer in her liver and bone. There is no cure this time, so the only option we have is to find a treatment that will prolong Mum’s life.
When she was first diagnosed, she was treated with a hormonal drug; Palbocilib. Her consultant said she could remain on this treatment for years and the outlook was very positive. Although this showed promising signs at first, after three cycles it became ineffective, so her consultant advised changing her treatment. She started Capecetabine chemotherapy in February 2021, but again, this treatment did not have the effect her consultant expected it to have and again recommended changing her treatment. In April of this year, she began a treatment of Vinorelbine Chemotherapy but after only three rounds again, Mum was told it has been ineffective.
With treatment options fast running out, she has decided to try and seek guidance from a specialist clinic in London, where she has been advised there will be more options available to her. They are exploring groundbreaking treatments, as well as running numerous clinical trials. Mum had her first consultation with a specialist Oncologist from this clinic last week and feels as if she has been given a lifeline, however none of this comes cheap. Given that there is no cure for Mum’s cancer, she will need ongoing treatment for the rest of her life and this is the reason we, as a family, have decided to set up this page. This journey has not only changed my Mums life forever, but our whole families. I watch daily as my Dad tries to hold things together and the mental impact it is having on me, my brother and twin sister.
She is about to start her fourths treatment in just over a year, this time a grueling IV Chemotherapy and they have warned to expect strong side effects. It’s going to be so hard to watch my Mum go through this again, but she is the strongest Woman I know, and I know she will fight this with everything she has got.
I am asking for kindness and support from friends and strangers alike, to help make this become possible. Any donation, big or small, or even sharing this page is appreciated more than you will ever know.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone for helping my Mum fight for her life.
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