Hannah, a mum-of-one, was diagnosed straight away with incurable, secondary breast cancer almost three years ago.
The news didn’t fully hit me until I walked out of the hospital doors. I had my first big panic attack and an ambulance was called. I initially felt like ‘I’m going to die now’.
My whole world shifted after this diagnosis, not just in my perspective, but also as people around me have handled my cancer in very different ways. I face a lot of misconceptions too. A lot of the treatments I have don’t make my hair fall out, so I look ‘well’ even though I have incurable cancer. Sometimes people can’t get their heads around this.
Since the shock of the diagnosis my resilience has kicked in. I’ve lost my enthusiasm for material things and the ‘9-to-5’ living. Instead I have a re-focused sense of what’s important to me – my friends and family – and a renewed appreciation for the environment and the world we live in.
I’ve now started making my own environmentally-friendly and organic skincare that I take to fairs and festivals in the summer months with my daughter, Poppy.
I have a strong desire to be in nature with my daughter. After I was diagnosed we bought a Teardrop caravan and a bell tent to go on camping trips - I want us to have as much fun as possible and make the most of the time we have together. We also love to spend a lot of time doing arts and crafts and being creative.
The diagnosis I have can feel like a production line, with very little room for manoeuvre. I’ve had to do my own research and ask questions about trials and other options. Charities like Breast Cancer Care help make things so much easier, and give people like me a space to meet others in a similar situation to share our experiences and emotions.
I’m astounded to hear that some people don’t have a dedicated breast care nurse. They are so supportive and give me a sense of control by listening to my questions and giving me their answers as well as allowing me enough time and space to do this so that I don't feel rushed. I want others to know they can be empowered to live the life they want to live with secondary breast cancer.
Join Hannah and campaign with us to ensure everyone has access to a dedicated secondary breast care nurse.
Breast Cancer Care’s secondary breast cancer campaign is being supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.