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Dawn's Story

Dawn's family visited Ben's Retreat in July 2023.

I have suffering with pain in my lymph nodes off and on since back in 2015, I kept going go the GP in pain and swelling and was constantly fobbed off saying its just an infection and given antibiotics.

Then in feb last year I could barely lift my arm up and started noticing a constant rash over my chest.

After being examined by a different GP I was finally asked to have a check at the breast clinic. and that I would be seen within 2 weeks. Within a week I had a check and was quickly taken in for a mammogram followed by a a few biopsies.

I was pretty much told straight away It was cancer, within the week I had to have a full body CT scan, 2 weeks later I went back to the breast clinic for my results to fimd out I have stage 4 metastatic breast cancer HER2+ with spread to my liver and my lower spine.

I then started 6 cycles of docetaxel chemotherapy with immunotherapy injections which I am on for life now every 3 and 6 weeks. I then had 5 rounds of intensive radiotherapy to my lower spine to help with pain relief and shrink the tumour. I had nearly a year of stable scans doing so well coping on immunotherapy injections and 6 monthly heart scans.

Then recently I started getting severe headaches and blurred vision and off balance when walking. I was putting it down to not getting enough sleep and stress. Until I mentioned it in clinic at a oncolgy appointment and my Dr requested for me to have a brain MRI and on the same day.

I had a missed call and voice message to come straight back into clinic. Then I was told the cancer has spread to my brain I have 3 tumours one being 3cm the 2 smaller ones are pressing on an important nerve so surgery is to life threatening to risk.

I have just finished another 5 rounds of full brain radiotherapy on 22nd June. I am now awaiting to have my next MRI which will be between 4-6 weeks when the swelling on my brain has gone down to see if the radiotherapy has shrunk the tumours. I have to stay on steroids for another 4 weeks due to the blurred vision and the slight balance side effects I am still having.

My cancer Is stage 4 It's not curable but there are chemo tablets as a next option and I will remain on the immunotherapy injections for the rest of my life. But unfortunately no trials available for brain mets.

I am otherwise feeling positive happy and making the most of my life and time I have left with my son Mason who is my absolute rock my life my everything, I am a full time single mum to him and he is the reason I fight so hard to stay alive as long as I can.

We are really looking forward to this break away 💕

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