This week I can honestly say I have never been as frightened as the day I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer. The fear of dying is something everyone must encounter when they are told they have cancer and I was no exception.

But with the most fatal form of Breast Cancer I knew the journey ahead was never going to be plain sailing, however once my treatment began to work I became engulfed in positivity and hope that I was going to get through this and become an IBC survivor.

My surgery was brought forward since the cancer is no longer responding to treatment so I began to prepare myself mentally for the operation and then I received a warning. A friend and IBC campaigner in America wrote to me urging me to reconsider surgery, as if my cancer is active when they operate it will only make it worse.

Fearfully and in turmoil I emailed an IBC surgeon in America as advised by my friend to try and uncover some facts. He responded immediately with a list of helpful questions to ask my surgeon/oncologist and agreed that the defined outcome of IBC was dependant on the chemo response. As soon as I had the opportunity I contacted both my surgeon and oncologist only to discover they were both on holiday and I would have to wait until next week for an appointment. What choice did I have? I began searching for flights to the USA and planning fund raising, considering my fate might lie in the hands of another doctor. Luckily I managed to speak to a registrar at Christies who made things quite clear.

My cancer was looking like it was now chemo resistant and when operated on leaves a risk of spreading. The choice to continue with more chemotherapy could only make things worse if it didn’t respond again. So my surgery looms ahead, with many unanswered questions. Will they be able to remove all the cancer? What if they don’t? Will it spread? Will I die? No one can answer these questions now until the surgery is complete.

So the road that I travel down has taken another turn and nobody can say that along the way I haven’t done everything humanly possible to improve my chances and help cure my cancer. Will I be one of the success stories? I hope so and it may be a long shot or indeed a miracle but sometimes miracles do happen.

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