As we ventured into November I realised I had been in remission for nearly two years.

After eleven and a half years, nine of them on chemotherapy, two of them on a clinical trial and various other combinations, I decided to evaluate how much money I had spent over the past three years on the anticancer drug Herceptin that the NHS will no longer fund yet has been keeping me alive.

At first, after I became immune to the clinical trial drug, my oncologist advised me to try a chemotherapy that was still available without Herceptin in order to save me £1,200 every three weeks. I did, but it failed. After losing 50 per cent of my hair with the remaining hair resembling wire, my energy levels dropping dramatically and I struggled to string a sentence together as I was convinced it was eating away at my brain cells. I decided to bite the bullet and after a brief holiday I started a new regime that would include the expensive drug.

At first there was an improvement with the cancer shrinking but after a while the cancer raged again like it had done before like every other regime I had tried failing over time.

My final chemo left me with no hair at all and an ulcerated mouth so painful I requested pain relief before my 14th weekly treatment and was told to take a complete break for a few months.

That was the last time (November 2020) that I went in to the chemotherapy ward in Christie’s hospital as the cancer disappeared. After scan results came back clear, my oncologist explained I was in remission, a word I had longed to hear over the many years of dealing with inflammatory breast cancer and I was only asked to return to the private suite where I should remain on the thee weekly anti-cancer drug Herceptin alone inevitably.

Approximately £40,000 has been spent on Herceptin since I began to fund it myself with huge help from Maureen and Sarah who set up separate GoFundMe pages to raise money to help with the cost.

As well as that numerous people including Sarah Gough and her dance class of Mature Movers have raised funds, my niece Lily, clients from O’Neill’s Hair salon and many more loved ones all have donated to help reduce the pressure and stress of finding the money to keep me alive.

However, last week after much thought and consideration of the implications of what would happen if the cancer became active again, I made the difficult decision to stop the intravenous Herceptin.

After discussion with my oncologist to confirm a plan be in place if the cancer was to ‘wake up’ I am now advised to have my bloods taken every six weeks to monitor my cancer markers and providing they remain below thirty two (they’re currently seventeen) the cancer stays asleep along with six monthly scans.

From a personal point of view, as I have no side effects from Herceptin, if the NHS funded the drug I would remain on it, but the cost is too great especially with the current situation the country is in. That aside, I am a different person to the one who was diagnosed back in May 2011.

I haven’t fought the cancer, I have learned from it. I have read more books than I ever thought possible. Reading about diet and health, the mind and how it affects the body, the energies that surround us and that what you give out you get back. I react differently, I love myself now and what I do and I’m sure that radiates as I’m often told.

I surround myself and only have those in my life who love, care and are kind to me (the latter being most important). I am kinder, more loving to others as well as myself and am grateful for every day I get to open my eyes and breathe in spite of the many side effects chemo and a brain injury has left me with.

My message to anyone taking the time to read this blog is that if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. That nothing is permanent, things are changing all the time and that in the blink of an eye anything can happen, good or bad.

So live this life the way you want to, be happy, take one step at a time and make every step worth it. It’s your life, live presently and on purpose. Believe in miracles because they do happen. I am one of them.