Recently diagnosed with secondary breast cancer

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I I'm 59 & live in the uk

I've just recently been diagnosed with secondary breast cancer & it's started in my bones, mainly my spine. I'd been suffering with my back from about Jan 23 but just assumed it was my arthritis playing up. I then had to move home in April & in May/June the pain got worse. I was sent for a x-ray which showed 4 fractures in my lower spin, so gp referred me for a bone scan & a dexa scan, I also a mammogram on remaining breast which was clear. I then had bone scan. But I had noticed that beginning of June I started getting out of breath very easily & everything become difficult to do, then one night i woke & suffered a bad nose bleed, resulting in me going to a & e. (I take blood thinners for a heart valve problem). Apparently my blood thinners had gone way too high which caused the bleeding. I was then admitted to hospital, where they discovered that I had low platelets, I was given 2 pints of blood & 3 platelets transfusions. I was told my bone scan showed no cancer yay i thought but I was sent for ct scan & that showed I had in fact got bone cancer & something was going on with my blood too, I also had a ultrasound on my stomach but so far my organs aren't affected. I then had a bone biopsy (very painfu) which was later confirmed it was from my previous breast cancer. So I've just started hormone therapy & calcium tablets & hope to start a targeted therapy soon. My blood is slowly getting better with the help of steroids, my platelets have improved but not what they should be. I ended up in hospital for 2 weeks but have been home a month now. I honestly don't know how I really feel. Sometimes I'm ok & don't think about it but other times I'm panicking. I'm staying as positive as I can & keep telling my body to behave & make it go away. I want to be here for as long as possible but I know cancer can have other ideas. My children live away from me (5hrs) & my partner died in 2021, so I live alone, I do live in a living independent scheme & have care call & do mix with the other residents but I don't like to burden them with my worries. I do have a macmillan nurse who is lovely & I have a wonderful haematology nurse as I have weekly blood test's. People say I'm strong & coping well but I feel I'm keeping a lot at bay & at some point I'm going to crash. I know there's probably a few on here going through the same thing & feelings, I've had 2 major heart surgeries, a hysterectomy, mastectomy, lost my partner & now this, why can life be so cruel to people.

Keep strong everyone 

  • Hi Dianem53,  sorry to hear you have been having a rough time of late. People on here are very friendly and will help if they can. You will see that lots of us who unfortunatly have secondary breast cancer that has spread to our bone me included. Like yourself i also live alone and my son lives a few hours away and we dont want to worry them or be a burden i can understand that,i hear this so many times on here. Great to hear you have some support in your macmillan nurse that is at least someone you can talk to. I get told i am strong and it can get quite annoying at times as i say if i had of had a choice i would not be in this situation i am just trying to keep it all together. I was diagnosed over 3 years now and fingers crossed i am quite well. Its in my spine to and i had to have it filled with surgical cement a it was disintergrating and painfull. There are many other bones affected ribs, neck, pelvis and so many more so i am on simular medication to you. My original cancer was in 2004 so i was lucky to be cancer free for many years but you never know when it will strike again. Its early days for you and everything will seem up in the air, you will have good days and bad and when i had a bad day i would have a little cry there is nothing wrong with that its hard to keep holding it together. There are a lot of groups in the community that provide help and information for those of us who have cancer. There is one in my village that meet once a week for a coffee and catch up maybe you could look into that as its a safe place to unburden yourself if needed. Keep strong and safe, and yes life can be cruel. Dawn 

  • Hi Wino

    Thank you for your reply.

    Sorry you are in the same boat, I've read quite a few comments on here & I'm happy to see that a lot are still going strong years after diagnosis, hopefully mine has been caught early enough & the treatment will stop it spreading anywhere else.

    I was seen by a spine specialist & at the moment they're not doing anything but I also had rib fractures & pelvis along with the vertebrae, the pain has eased a lot to what it was but I've adapted how I do things to avoid further damage.

    Take care  x