Claire Innes Member Story Spotlight
Spotlight on Our Diagnosed Members: Claire’s Story
Metaplastic Breast Cancer Global Alliance Members’ Stories
Hello everyone, We’ve been reading some of the posts about your journeys. It’s been helpful to see stories familiar to us. After being diagnosed with MpBC we’ve found it difficult to find information I can relate to.
I suppose I should tell you about my own up and down experiences. Well in July 2016 I started experiencing “leakage” from both breasts. After ruling out pregnancy, I visited the doctor. My bloods were taken and I was told I had vitamin D deficiency and that my body was just naturally changing with age. At this time I was 40.
Fast Forward to January 2017 and I discovered a lump on my left breast. Again I went to the doctor. I was given a physical examination and told I had a cyst. I was told that I had lumpy boobs and that if the cyst was stil causing discomfort then I should return in 6 weeks during a different stage in my menstruation cycle. After 4 weeks I was back at the doctor. After another physical examination I was told again it was a cyst and once again to return in 6 weeks.
I was, by now, in a fair bit of pain. So back to the doctor I went (March 2017).Although still adamant I had a cyst, because of the pain I was describing I was sent for a mammogram……. as you all will have guessed by now, no it wasn’t a cyst. Ultimately I was diagnosed with stage 3 ER+ invasive ductile BC…..they also discovered a smaller lobular carcinoma on my right breast.
I had chemo from April 2017 to August 2017 (Fec and Docetaxel). Chemo was hell. I contracted sepsis and was neutropenic 3 times🤦….but ultimately got through it. A double lumpectomy followed by 30 rad sessions in Dec 2017 and I was given the all clear!! 🎉🎉
Over the following months after my recovery, my family and I completed various activities to raise funds for the cancer organisations that had helped us. Including hikes, marathons, mountain climbs and in May 2018 , a 100 mile trek through the gorgeous Scottish Highlands that I finished with my brother. Life was there to be lived and I wasn’t holding back .
In January 2019 I started having shooting , stabbing pains from the centre of my chest to my left shoulder. I contacted my cancer team and met with my consultant who oversaw my previous treatments. My last mammo had only been 6 months prior and was found to be normal. With that in mind and after physically examination, he said he thought it could be fluid, caused by the full lymphnode removal I had on the left side…..no such luck….. between a bit of back and forth between lymphedema clinic and my GP, I discovered a lump in the centre of my chest I was given a chest x-ray ( normal) and referred for ultrasound that confirmed a tumor in the centre of my chest. A needle biopsy later and I was told that once again I had cancer.
CT scan later confirmed metastasis to my breast bone and liver. My full diagnosis was metaplastic squamous Breast Cancer. I have been told it’s mostly triple negative but also with a low ER and PR score of 3.
I was also given the devastating news that my cancer can’t be cured and that average data showed I had a life expectancy of 12 to 18 months.
Now I plan on bucking the trend! And want to give myself the best chance at life I can! I want to see my 3 boys (13 year old twins and 10 year old) grow up and marry. I want to grow old with Danny and be happy with. I have so much life in me that I can’t believe this is happening again.
I’ve had my first chemo ( carboplatin) on a 3 week cycle and I’m hoping I have positive response.
The pain from tumor is constant. Ive been prescribed morphine, but that has its own issues 😒.
I’m keen for all the information I can get on my cancer and praying that my treatment is effective.
I try to stay clear of Dr Google and tell Danny to do the same, but he seldom listens 🙄😉
I feel for my family and friends, who have to go through this again with me. I wish they didn’t have to.
Thanks for listening.