"This is a tricky post to write... Knowing that what you have to say will upset all those you love and care about is really tough"
Nicolette has had breast cancer twice: the first time ten years ago when her older children, Joe & Ella, were 2 & 3 years old, and then again five years ago after her youngest Frankie was born. This is her story of receiving a secondary cancer diagnosis...
Following various scans & tests since last summer, I was sent for a lung biopsy last Tuesday. The results have shown that the breast cancer has returned, but this time in my lung. Not a new lung cancer, but secondary breast cancer that has travelled to the lung.
Once breast cancer metastasises to the lung it is technically incurable, however there are lots of different treatments available to try to keep the cancer under control and prevent it from spreading further. Over the next couple of weeks I will see the oncologist at the Christie to work out an initial treatment plan, probably including some chemotherapy. I will most likely be on one type of treatment or another for the rest of my life. I’m feeling incredibly grateful for the NHS right now – we are so lucky!
Obviously, this is a challenging time for us all, but telling people this news is one of the most difficult things.
Knowing that what you have to say will upset all those you love & care about is really tough & it is difficult not to feel responsible for their sadness & worry. We have obviously spoken to the children & our families already.
The children know as much as we do, each to their own level of understanding. Please bear in mind when you see me or contact me on public social media, that my beautiful ones will watching your responses closely. They do understand that people are afraid of and upset by cancer and so other adults may find it difficult to moderate their responses to the situation. We have always spoken honestly about cancer, illness & death and brought them up to understand that these things are just a part of life.
None of us know how long we are going to live, all of us will face grief at some time, but we can survive it with love & support. All three of them are kind, sensitive & wise and well-prepared for some tricky times ahead as a family. I couldn’t be prouder of them.
I have to say that, despite this situation being far from ideal, it is something which is not entirely unexpected. When I was very first diagnosed, I was given the statistic that 69% of women with my specific diagnosis are likely to still be alive in 10 years. I am more than delighted to have survived for all ten of those years, had another beautiful baby, become a midwife, helped to set up & grow Mummy’s Star, hung out with my wonderful James and had more fun than most people I know.
In addition to all of this, I’m still here with plenty more love & adventure to keep me going!
I would not swap my life for anyone’s, even now. It’s my life, full of fantastic experiences and wonderful people & I love it!!
Who knows what is just around the corner? Life is like a box of chocolates, and I like it that way…
Nicolette is an ambassador for Mummy's Star and was Chair of the charity from 2014-2017.