Katy's breast cancer fundraiser
For those who don't already know me, my name is Katy. I'm 36 and mum to my amazing 4 year old daughter Aurelia and beautiful 6 week old baby boy, Evan. I have been married to my wonderful husband Paul for 6 years.
Up until April 2016 we were an ordinary happy young family. I was pregnant with Evan and we were all so excited about the new addition to our family, not least Aurelia who couldn't wait to be a big sister!
However, our happy family life was about to change beyond all recognition. By chance I found a lump in my left breast and, thinking it was probably nothing to worry about and down to pregnancy, I went to see my GP who referred me to my local breast clinic. Mammograms and ultrasound scans showed thickened breast tissue and an enlarged lymph node in my armpit. Biopsies confirmed breast cancer. I felt like the rug had been pulled from underneath me but there was an extra kicker - my breast cancer was classed as triple negative. This type of breast cancer only occurs in around 15% of women diagnosed, usually affects younger women and is aggressive. It is not driven by oestrogen, progesterone or HER2 which means I cannot benefit from targeted medications after active treatment which reduce the risk of a recurrance, such as tamoxifen and herceptin. There are currently no wonder drugs available for triple negative breast cancer. Some types of triple negative respond to chemotherapy and others don't, but doctors don't yet know enough about triple negative to know which do and which don't at the moment or even which type of chemo has the best chance of success. Also where surgery is necessary before chemo, as in my case, there is no way of telling what effect the chemotherapy has had. The usual treatment for triple negative is surgery, chemo and radiotherapy or slash, poison and burn as it is sometimes referred to!
An immediate mastectomy and lymph node clearance were scheduled. I underwent this surgery at 35 weeks pregnant and needless to say it was terrifying. I was scared not only for me but for little Evan, still growing inside me. We both thankfully came out of the surgery ok but the pathology results told us just how aggressive my cancer was; there was not one but 2 large tumours and the cancer had spread to 4 of my lymph nodes meaning it was trying to get out and spread around my body into vital organs such as the lungs, liver and brain. As far as we know from scans this has thankfully not yet happened. Once this happens there is no cure.
I was induced with Evan at 38 weeks so my chemo could start and thankfully our beautiful bouncing baby boy was a healthy 8 pounds, 4 ounces! He and Aurelia were our rays of sunshine in the darkness and trauma of the past few weeks. I started chemo when Evan was a week old and am currently 6 weeks in to a 6 month chemotherapy regime, to be followed by possible further surgery and weeks of radiotherapy. This is the standard and traditional treatment approach and if I knew it would cure me I would take whatever the medical profession could throw at me a million times over. The problem is it may not, and the statistics aren't great. Triple negative breast cancer recurs often in the months or years after active treatment, often in the vital organs of the body. I therefore need to do all I can to prevent this for the sake of my precious children. I intend to continue with chemotherapy but after lots of research we have found that there are other cutting edge and innovative treatments available for triple negative such as genetic profiling of the tumour, immunotherapy ( a process where my own immune cells are programmed to kill cancer cells) and many other treatments not available in the UK. These treatments are available in Germany and have had amazing results in triple negative patients (specifically I am looking to be treated by the private oncology specialists at the Hallwang Clinic, http://www.hallwang-clinic.com/ ). This will be extremely costly and I have been advised that an initial treatment plan may cost £50,000 plus. We simply do not have this money. Unfortunately a loan or remortgage are not possible (without the boring details, the bank computer says no on a number of counts). Paul and I are very private people by nature who don't ask for help, let alone money, but now we really need the help of our wonderful family, friends and generous strangers with fundraising. Is there anything you can do to help? Can you donate? Anything is very much appreciated, however small. Would your employer donate in return for some publicity or donate prizes? Could you do something sponsored or hold a coffee morning or anything else you can think of? The bigger, the better!
My cancer diagnosis has taught me that nothing but our health and precious family and friends matter. I have to give this my best shot for my babies. And ladies, check your boobs. You are not too young for breast cancer.
Please can I ask all our family and friends to like and share on Facebook and Twitter to spread the word as far as possible.
Thanking you all from the bottom of our hearts.
With lots of love,
Katy, Paul, Aurelia and Evan xxx
If you wouldn't mind liking and sharing the page too and inviting your friends to like we would be so so grateful. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Katy, Paul, Aurelia and Evan xxx
So glad that you were diagnosed relatively early. My situation was almost identical. I was in my early 30s with a 3 year old daughter and pregnant with second bab).Lump appeared at 33 weeks but GP dismissed it ( 3 times) as blocked duct. Went into hospital with high blood pressure at 38 weeks - showed lump to doctors - again dismissive. Baby born by C section, began to breast feed, lump got bigger and bigger. STILL they said it was a blocked duct. Eventually I paid to have the lump removed privately - very aggressive cancer. Given very poor prognosis. Had surgery / chemo / radiotherapy/ radioactive implant.......................... eventually got back to working and mothering my gorgeous children. Those gorgeous children are now 32 and 35 - and they have given me gorgeous grandchildren to enjoy !!! Keep your spirits up. I will definitely contribute financially - who is your consultant ? xx
Hello, We were so sorry to read your story and would love to help. We don't have any cash to offer but we do have a big bright yellow party bus with a huge slide on the back. Children love the slide and I'm sure parents would pay to let children (or themselves!) slide down it. If we were to park in a prominent place and get some publicity I'm sure we could help you get closer to your target. - I'm a firm believer that it's easier to get a hundred people to give a pound for a good cause than to find one person with a spare hundred! Please call me on 07908844968 if you think we can help! Love Polly
Hi Katy, what an adorable family you have :) I am sure you will beat this! ... I think it's time for this invaluable treatment to be available on the NHS. This is why I am running a petition. Please visit & share: https://www.change.org/p/nhs-help-cancer-patients-like-gemma-nuttall-by-making-immunotherapy-available-in-the-uk
hi katy and paul.I have been following your story.I must say how proud of your strength I am.What a wonderful strong lady you are.I send you all the love and best wishes in the whole world that you get through all this.I have no cash to donate but you have my support in any other way.Feel free to friend request me on usual facebook as I would love to stay in contact with you through your journey.Keep strong and positive.Susi Ramsden.xx
My thoughts and prayers are with her family she fought a hard fight and I’m very sorry she lost that fight a few weeks past. This was one brave lady and she will live on in her family. Much love to her husband and children. X
Hi Katy I am so sorry you’re so unwell, I truly hope you feel better soon. I send you my love & thoughts
Just like to say that oxygen therapy might help. People use it to maintain their cancer along with diet etc and it has no nasty side effects. I’ve heard people speak highly of it with a range of illness. Good luck to you I’ve had cancer hope your future is filled with plenty of laughter and happiness for lots & lots of wonderful years xx
Hi Katy. I have been following your story. I am an Author/Musician.... and have recently been diagnosed with cancer again, 10 years after remission from the first diagnosis in 2003. Originally I had radiotherapy (followed by jaw reconstruction) which seemed to have done the trick.... but it must still have been lurking and now I require radical surgery, but my chances look slim. Like yourself, I am holding on to a glimmer of hope but it really does take the wind out of you. Every day is an effort.....and simply getting through each day with the knowledge that your time could be limited, is difficult, and it's so hard to focus your thoughts on something more positive. Still.... we live in hope. I'd like to send you a couple of my books & CD's. You can find me under Stephen Lee Ostrowski on FB and you can PM me if you would like me send these items. Can send to a PO Box address if you wish, or to someone on your behalf. My thoughts are with you and I pray that both of us get through our battle with cancer.....
this so sad i wish i could of donated but im in need my self i hope you reach the goal