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I was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in my bones, treatable but not curable in July last year. I have always had the same positive attitude as I had when I had my original breast cancer diagnosis back in Dec 2008.

I am currently on Letrozole, ribociclib and denusab, my recent CT scan showed everything to be stable and the fractures are starting to repair, I have managed to take two holidays abroad and felt really good until today.

I have never wanted to know my prognosis and the Oncology team are aware of this, my philosophy is that when they tell me there are no treatments left them I know it s my time.

I have applied for ill health retirement from my job as I am 63 and always intended to retire when my husband retires in October, part of this process was that my Oncologist had to write to my employer detailing my condition and they also wa ted to know my prognosis, as he knew I did not want to know he said he would make a note to this effect.

So today you can imagine how I felt when I opened a letter only to find it was a copy of the report and my prognosis was there in black and white and I can’t unread it so it always going to be out there, what I didn’t know didn’t bother me and I was enjoying life with my family, now I feel like my head is going to explode.

Any advise as to how I can get back to where I was would be appreciated.

  • Hi Ricepop,

    I'm so sorry that you had to see your "prognosis".

    The reality is that no-one, not even the world's best oncologist, can know how long you have left to live. Every cancer is unique. Some don't respond to treatment, some respond extremely well for a very long time.

    Your initial view is the correct one. Only once you've exhausted all treatment options, and the cancer is progressing, should you start to worry about the end.

    Bear in mind that new treatments are always emerging, which gives even more hope,



  • Thank you for your response and you are correct, I think I was just so angry yesterday that I had to get it off my chest.

    I feel in a much better place today and I know that I am a strong optimistic person and I will not let this awful disease define who I am or spoil any time I have left with my family be it 3 or 10 years or more.

    Thank you again for putting everything into perspective.

  • Hi @Ricepop. I completely agree with Andy’s comments. Another way of helping to ‘park’ it is to recognise that you needed the oncologist to tell your employer something that would support your request for early retirement, and he/she has done so. It doesn’t mean the doomsday clock has advanced. 

  • I think you’ve had good replies here & I would agree that the oncologist would be seeking to support you, the problem being that they have to paint it all a few shades darker than it will probably work out. As someone said, no-one can tell you how long you have to live. X

  • Hello,

     I was formally diagnosed with bone mets two weeks ago after mri,ct and pet scans plus many biopsies and mammograms over last 4months, waiting and tests were very wearing. I also received a copy of the letter explaining to my doctor what was going on which is a scary read as it’s so clinical and formal.

    Anyway, I’m getting my head around it all and try to place it in a locked box in my mind for most of my day, though it’s soo hard!

    I’m starting on exactly the same treatment as you are getting and I’m hoping that you are doing well?

    Meanwhile I’m getting a Motability car which will help me as I live alone and I’ll be able to get to see friends who aren’t local to me.

    I hope I’ll gradually adjust to the bombshell?

  • Hi starflower

    i am well thanks, my last CT scan showed that everything was stable and that my fractures are repairing, which was excellent news. 
    I had my monthly appointment this week and they did apologise that I received the letter and advised that I could submit a complaint, but I really can’t t see the point, what is done is done and I will deal with it the only way I know how which is meeting it head on.

    I am very lucky in that I am more or less pain free and able to drive myself to meet up with colleagues and friends.

    keep strong and take care of yourself and keep a positive attitude and take every day as it comes and you will adjust. 

  •  Thank you Ricepop for the message- yes I will keep on keeping on as they say and I wish you well with your journey too