Booka40's Story

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"My name is Rebekah/Becky and I'm 41. I have three children all teenage boys. I married my amazing hubby in 2015.

"Well the journey started 11 years ago. I had a lumpectomy and a full node clearance followed by chemo and radiotherapy. I did really well on the treatment and I had a very positive attitude. It had gone and that was that.

"Two years later a lump was found on a routine mammogram. This time I had a double mastectomy and reconstruction and treatment as above. Still thought, 'That's it, we've done this.'

"Three years ago I started having significant pain in my back upper thoracic part. I was told the scan was clear and then spent the next two years going out of my mind with pain. Seen by many different people to help the pain but nothing worked. The pain team gave me a booklet explaining how to cope with long-term pain. I felt everyone thought I was making it up. I started drinking a lot as this gave me some short-term relief.

"August last year I rolled over in bed to get out and something happened and I was in agony. I couldn't get out of the extreme pain. After a week of this I started to lose feeling in my legs had pins and needles in my hands. I had difficulty in weeing. I took many trips to the GP but they didn't really seem alarmed, even when my walking went down hill. I needed supervision and my walking was all over the place.

"Thankfully my mate is an OT she called in took one look at me and took me to A&E. Within the hour I learned that I had fractured one of my vertebrae and it caused a spinal compression. This was due to a tumor on my spine. As the day went on, my condition was explained to me and my husband.

"The operation by an amazing man saved my legs thankfully. It's taken me a long time to recover and get my walking back to be safe on my own. Now that has happened I am struggling with the cancer mentally; I can't get my head around that it's here to stay. It is overwhelming me on days. I've met some amazing people through this illness. They have such strength. I feel terrible that I just can expect it.

"I need to find some tips on getting on with living my life on my good days and not let it take over my head and my life now...."

-- Booka40, diagnosed metastatic in 2016

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