Whoops! It seems that I and, by extension, Julie missed our special day, possibly because I was too busy ranting about the iniquities of Merton Borough Council!
Yesterday, 13 October, was designated by Breast Cancer Care UK as an awareness day for secondary breast cancer, which is a condition Julie and I have. In both our cases, the cancer has spread to bones in the hips and back. Breast Cancer Care stresses that secondary breast cancer can be treated, but it cannot be cured, and that it depends very much on the individual case as to how much pain a person has to endure. I’ve been lucky inasmuch as I’ve hardly had any pain, but there are times when my limbs are stiff and I find it difficult to walk, especially uphill. But I know this could all change. The article I’ve just read said that I could live for a “number of years”, which didn’t sound too optimistic to me. Right at the outset, I was told that the prognosis was good and it could be ten years, but recently I’ve convinced myself that it could be a lot more. There doesn’t seem to have been any real deterioration in the last few years, and I have regular scans so that any change should be picked up on very quickly. So I hope I’m going to go on for a good while yet – there are so many things I still want to do.
Another issue is, of course, tiredness, and many is the occasion when I’m full of beans in the morning, yet, by mid afternoon, I’m sound asleep in front of my favourite TV programme!
I’ve always tried to be positive about my cancer, and I hope this comes across in my books: it is, after all, one of their main messages – it is possible to have cancer and still have an active life. And the other thing which I find useful to keep in mind is that there are new discoveries and new treatments all the time. So while secondary breast cancer cannot be cured now, perhaps it’s just conceivable that this will change at some point in the future.