IT'S been close to a year since the doctors at The Christie cancer hospital told me they could find no evidence of any disease anywhere and that they’d made a mistake claiming an irregular bone in my chest was a tumour.

The news was tinged with sadness as on the same day late, my hubby, lost a lifelong friend to cancer so it took a while to sink in and I could enjoy the news.

By September I asked the oncologist if I needed to stay on this clinical trial as the cancer was nowhere to be found and all my scans continued to be clear.

I was left heartbroken when being told that it was the trial that was keeping it at bay and if I came off the chemo the cancer would come back quickly due to its aggressive nature.

After a week of feeling sorry for myself I picked myself up and decided I was the same person before hearing this news and that I should be pleased that although the chemo is extremely toxic, there is something available out there that is keeping me alive after having taken all the licensed drugs.

So I cracked on trying hard to overcome the side effects and debilitating tiredness, feeling like an old lady at times, my kids maintaining my youth with their dancing and optimism that I was doing just fine.

Although time after time I’d go to have my treatment, my white blood count being too low putting me at too high of a risk of infection with no immune system, I’d be recalled the following week.

It was the beginning of December and my treatment was due.

“Your white blood count is too low so you’ll have to come back next week” I was told again as I was now getting used to the delay.

The week later the doctor said “Your white blood count has not improved.

In fact it’s not changed from last week and if it hasn’t rectified itself by next week the trial company may want to remove you from this trial all together.”

My heart nervously skipped a beat as I thought of the ‘what ifs’.

I then asked the doctor what other trials there were for me should this happen and she assured me that she’d find me one however with having almost 7 years of chemo my body would eventually become immune to the drugs and nothing would work.

How could she know this if they are 'trialling' the drugs? As upset as I was, I retorted to 'everything happens for a reason' and that my body was perhaps trying to tell me that I didn’t need the drug anymore, that I was clear of cancer and the chemo had done its job and that the doctors were wrong.

For the following week I believed this with all my heart and hung on to that hoping I was right but I was wrong when I returned to Christies after 3 weeks delay, just a few days before Christmas, to be told for a 3rd time my blood count still wasn’t high enough to have the treatment after now finding an itchy, red patch of skin at the top of my right arm.

I prayed it was nothing but as Christmas came and went the red patch grew, showing every symptom of inflammatory breast cancer in the vessels of my skin.

Redness, soreness, itching, lumpy and thicker in places. I showed the doctor on my return to which he said to keep an eye on it.

The good news was that my blood count had risen sufficiently to allow me to have a reduced dose of the treatment so my body could recuperate better and more effectively after the dose.

And it certainly has done as my check up 3 weeks later showed my white blood count was considerably better and above the trial’s borderline to have my next dose in 3 weeks’ time.

But the red patch remains, slowly getting bigger and hurting more and constantly itching. It is a constant reminder of what is still there, that my body cannot survive without this drug and what might happen should it continue to spread.

I have also discovered from a friend that the trial company will do everything in their power not to remove me from this trial as I am classed as a 'responder' and that looks great, statistically, for their trial and records. The doctors become like God, playing with your life as you live off their every word.

Well I refuse to live in fear. I won’t live in fear of the doctor’s choice of words, of the what ifs, of the redness in my skin, or the future.

As hard as it is, I will put my heart and soul into making my life a great one.

I recently went to a childhood friend’s funeral who died of a brain tumour.

Relating to so many things in her life from our age, same school, 2 young children, cancer, The Christie hospital… the list goes on but I realised life is far too short to indulge in fear and sadness and although there are many things that make us frightened and sad, how we respond and react is far more important than the act itself.

I don’t know whether it’s the length of time I’ve had cancer, the kids being that bit older or the amount of challenges I’ve faced but I am stronger now than I have ever been, facing this uncertainty head on with a sense of 'what will be, will be'.

With The Rainbow Ball just around the corner, organised by my best friend Nicola Leadbetter, I realise I have a lot to be grateful for and will do whatever it takes to enjoy the time I have left whether it be a long time or short.

I want to look forward to the future making plans for little trips away but I wouldn’t be human if I said the spreading of this awful disease is always there in my underlying thoughts.

Always wanting to perform, I now find a valid reason to put my actress head on and my skills to good use.

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Readers who submit articles must agree to our terms of use. The content is the sole responsibility of the contributor and is unmoderated. But we will react if anything that breaks the rules comes to our attention. If you wish to complain about this article, contact us here