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6 years cancer free...then I'm not

Hi all, just wanted to share a little about my journey and was also wanting some advice... My story begins in December 2016, found a lump in my right breast after running my first marathon (lost quite a bit of weight with all the training). fast forward 11 surgeries-lumpectomies, sentinel node biopsies, egg harvesting/preservation, bilateral mastectomies and insertion of silicone implants, removal of said implants, cesaerean section, hysterectomy, bilateral DIEP reconstruction and fat grafting and we get to 2022. I had my DIEP recon in 2021 (most horrific experience of my life-had to be resuscitated twice and in ICU for a week). After all that, I decided to celebrate the end of my cancer journey with my second marathon (great ocean road-bucket list and definitely recommend). Unfortunately, December 2022, have found out I have had a recurrence of the cancer (despite bilateral mastectomies and reconstructions) and it has now spread to my lymph nodes. I really don't know how to feel about this...so much has changed for me in the last 6 years since my diagnosis, I went from being happily married with no kids the first time around, to now seperated, single parent to a beautiful 5 year old that starts school next year, and a completely different job. I guess my question to you all is...is there anyone else out there who has/is going through the same? I know that I have both Chemo and radiation plus multiple surgeries in my immediate future. I feel...tired...like I really just don't know if I have the strength to endure this again. I am considering not going through any treatment and enjoying the time I have left with my son. I don't want to go through all the treatment and lose the quality of life I have now, especially if I could potentially die on the operating table anyway. I was 31 when first diagnosed and am 37 now, any thoughts? 


  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,736
    edited December 2022
    Oh my gosh, @Vivianna - you've had a really tough time of it, that is for sure and this is not the news you wanted to hear.  :(   

    Have you joined the Mets Group, where you can chat in total privacy with others?  

    Your diagnosis has given you a massive shock - just know that not all with mets have to have invasive, nasty treatment - I have 2 buddies locally who are just on AIs for the last 3 years & are going really well, with minimal side effects.  Have you chatted with a Medical Oncologist yet, to determine exactly what treatments may be on offer for you - or even trials as treatments have advanced so much in the last 5-6 years.

    I hope you have family and friends to lean on, specially at this time of the year? xx  Please consider Ringing our helpline on 1800 500 258 to have a chat xx

    take care xx
  • June1952
    June1952 Member Posts: 1,877
    Hello @Vivianna.  What a terrible Christmas present you have been given.  As you are already aware of the plan of chemo, radiation and surgeries I am guessing you have been given some indication as to the timelines ?
    Are you comfortable with your medical team ?
    Do you have family supports who can step in and assist you during treatment, especially with your son ?  Whilst it is often an idea to quit whilst ahead and spend some quality time with your son, he would certainly appreciate it if you were to have the treatments (which are always improving and are targeted) so he can have you at his graduation and wedding.
    Personally, I feel you are stronger than you think and being a Mum you will find the fight in you to win this next round.
    Thinking of you.  Please keep us informed.  💖
  • jennyss
    jennyss Member Posts: 1,980
    Dear @Vivianna,

    Go girl go, and best wishes from jennyss in western NSW
  • Cath62
    Cath62 Member Posts: 1,333
    OMG @Vivianna. What a roller-coaster you have already been on. How hard was all that.

    I think the fact you are posting on here says you can do this. I think you sound like a fighter. You have been through a lifetime for 37.  You have your son. I bet he is your world and you will fight  for him. 

    I haven't been through your story but I have been through alot in my 60 yrs. Every fight, battle, scar and recovery has been worth it. 

    Sending you hugs and lots of love.
  • Abbydog
    Abbydog Member Posts: 485
    edited December 2022
    You have been through so much. I'm sure that you thought you were finished with BC treatment.
    Do you know if this is considered Metastatic cancer? 
    It must be quite a shock to be needing treatment again.
    I would give it all a go again. You sound young and healthy, fit enough for a Marathon.
    DIEP is a massive surgery, and insult on the body. Hopefully the Doctors involved know what the problem was. And now know what to look out for, if you are to go ahead with treatment.
    All the very best wishes for you and your son.