I just wanted you to know that while I hope you find my Blog positive and helpfull, I also think it’s important that people know the harsh reality of living with Metastatic Cancer. I aim to be honest and real, I won’t ignore the ugly stuff. As an old school teacher of mine used to say, ‘hurt me but be constructive’. So expect lots of good stuff and also a lot of raw emotion and tough reality. XX Kitty
Hi, my name is Kitty and on December 20th 2012 I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma or Breast Cancer. I had a 5cm tumour and further testing revealed that I had stage IV, metastatic or incurable cancer which had already spread to my ribs.
Two years earlier after much soul searching single and at the ripe old age of 39 I had decided to follow my dream to become a mam. Although having been tested and told I had the fertility and ovarian reserve of a woman ten years younger (which I believe may have been a contributing factor in my subsequent cancer diagnosis), I had some issues namely nasty little gits called fibroids, oh and no health insurance!!!!
Having dealt with three clinics all saying different things, I finally got the go ahead to have the procedure, it’s now 2012, and I am 41. You might think at this stage I’d be over the moon, but with my depleting resources, my increasing age and my struggle to get a business off the ground I felt frazzled and stressed and totally doubted my ability to do this. But I finally decided it was now or never.
Around the same time I started to get this really sharp, stabbing, knock you for six shoulder pain which then moved to my chest. I also noticed a leathery patch on my right breast. The pain was so severe I was getting worried, and since I was anxious to get started with my IUI , I knew I needed to get to the bottom of this pronto.
I think my grief for the child I would never have saved me from the full impact of my stage IV diagnosis. I don’t think that at the time I appreciated the real significance, and in some ways I’m grateful for that.
Once I realised that my dream of having a child was over the seriousness of my condition finally dawned on me. Being the control freak that I am there was no way I could just stand back and hand my life over to somebody else. I started to wade through the minefield of information that is out there in order to make the right decision. No easy task especially when the clock is ticking and in moments of doubt I wondered, with no partner, child, job or home what exactly I had to fight for. I read books about causes and treatments about death and dying about nutrition and exercise, wheatgrass and juicing, apricot kernels and baking soda etc. etc. I took it all on board, started treatment and put what I could into practice.
In the last 5 years I have found strength I didn’t know I had, met the most amazing people, appreciated every detail of this incredible world, laughed more than I ever have , connected with my family in a much more honest and meaningful way, stopped spending time with people who don’t bring me joy, walked away from bullshit because I just don’t have the time or the energy, spent time doing the things I love, stopped worrying about my age , my looks my size what people think , became a better version of myself and learned to like me!
For sure I wish I hadn’t got breast cancer, it has been terrifying, heart breaking and downright bloody inconvenient yes, but so much more. I have decided that dying isn’t the worst thing, living a long sad miserable lonely life is much worse. I spent so many years oblivious to all the love around me. I have learned and finally accept that I am truly loved by the most wonderful people (so I must be all right!). I have accepted that I can’t have everything I dreamed of, and yes it’s sad, but there are so many things I can have and it’s not too shabby! I have many regrets and once let fear rule my life, but now I have to honour the life I have left by living it completely or else it will have just been a terrible waste. Love, faith and hope may not save me but it just might give me the strength to live and die fearlessly and with dignity.
I am not a doctor, a nurse or a nutritionist, I am a researcher and a stubborn control freak who questions everything, doesn’t much like conventional cancer treatment and believes there has to be a better way. But as I have terminal cancer, right now I choose to use both conventional and alternative treatments, nutrition, exercise, mindfulness etc. etc anything that might prolong my life while maintaining it’s quality. I also want to acknowledge that as a single woman I appreciate that I have more time and possibly energy to implement my dietary and lifestyle changes, but hope that you might find some of this information useful.