Thanks for taking the time to visit my website. I'd like to tell you a little bit about myself. I'm a wife and mother of 3 young children, Matthew 13, Ellie 10 and Freddie 6. I was first diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2001 at the age of 36. Following Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy, I was in remission until a chance MRI scan in Feb 2005 for an unrelated problem, detected that the Cancer had returned. I was then diagnosed with Secondary Breast Cancer. The likely prognosis given in February was 18 months to 5 years. I then had to undergo aggressive Chemotherapy, but following the results of a recent bone scan, it was found that the Cancer is still spreading.
The treatment in Germany will cost thousands of pounds and for most people like myself, the opportunity for this is a dream. Many of my Family and Friends want to make this dream a reality and are making tremendous fund raising efforts, because without them, I would not be able to seek the treatment that I so obviously need and which is not being offered in this country.
Just wanted to thank everyone who has contacted me following the Mummy Diaries documentary. I have had such lovely comments from people who say how brave and courageous we all are and for letting Ricochet into our lives and raising the awareness of others living with cancer.
I have now had emails from France following the publication of the Closer magazine article and again they are all saying the same that we are lovely mums and what an example we are.
I've also had emails from people wanting to help with fund raising so I hope that something will come from this.
Sophie from Ricochet rang today with some fantastic news, an anonymous donor has sent a cheque to Ricochet to be divided between me and Carol. That is so kind. The donor would like to remain anonymous so I can't thank them in person but I hope that they read my blog and know how much I appreciate their donation. It will be put into my Wigs to Wishes fund for further treatment in Germany. I may even be able to raise enough for my first Dendrictic Cell Vaccine that I mentioned following my last trip to Germany in October.
No news from the PCT/Virgin Vie Commission
My Oncologist's clinical nurse left a message today saying that she had spoken with my Onc and that the NHS are still not funding Avastin or Faslodex but she has not heard about my case yet. Also that they would request an appointment for a liver ultrasound.
Just wanted to say thanks to Tanya for donating her commission at her Virgin Vie party tonight for my Wigs to Wishes fund, she could have bought herself a lot of nice jewellery but instead she chose to give the commission to me. Thanks Tan. xx
My "Mummy Diaries" episode
The "Mummy Diaries" episode which features my family was transmitted tonight. We had already seen it but sat down together to watch it again.
We had quite a few text messages afterwards and a few phone calls. Everyone seems impressed by the whole series and I'm starting to get emails from people who have lost a loved one and they say that the programme has helped them.
I'm sad it's all over really as it was such a wonderful positive experience. I just want to thank everyone at Ricochet, especially Emma, Hannah, Tan, Sophie and of course Amanda Blue and a big thank you also to Julie Stokes. Another thank you goes to Loretta at Channel 4 who sorted out all the publicity and protected me from ones that I might not want to get involved in.
I had my normal oncology appointment today and was hoping that my Onc would have some news on whether the PCT had decided if I can have the Avastin and Faslodex that I asked her about at my last appointment on 24th October. Fat chance! She didn't even come in today so when I asked her clinical nurse, she couldn't even find my file so I was none the wiser. There was no evidence on the computer system that a letter had been sent to the PCT and I wasn't able to ask anyone about the liver ultrasound.
The clinical nurse said she would ask the Onc tomorrow and give me a call at home.
French Closer Magazine
Following my interview and article in the Closer magazine (10-17 Nov 07), the French version of the magazine have got in touch and want to publish the article in their magazine also. My story is going global! At the end of the day though, cancer touches everybody's lives wherever you live
Blast from the past
Following the transmission of Thursday's Mummy Diaries an old school friend, who had moved away from Reading, got in touch by email. She'd been watching the programme and then got the shock of her life when she saw me, Steve and the kids at the end of programme 2.
Debbie and I have known each other since we were 7 years old and she wrote a lovely email reminiscing about our youth. She made me laugh so much, I had forgotten quite a lot of what we used to get up to as children living on Caversham Park Village, especially when it was still being built. Debbie was also with me when, at 15, I first met Steve.
I'm really pleased that she got in touch and so grateful for the wonderful memories, it will be something that I can pass on to the children.
Sad News today/Mummy Diaries 2
Had a phone call this morning to inform me that Vanessa has passed away in the early hours of this morning. Her episode is being transmitted tonight. Apparently it was her wish that she would make it through to her transmission day!! Wow she just made it. I'm a bit numb really so watching part 2 of the Mummy Diaries this evening was tinged with sadness. I watched it with Matt and Ellie. I'd already put Freddie to bed as I didn't really want him watching this episode as I knew they would put a notice up at the end to inform of Vanessa's death.
I told Matt and Ellie before we watched the episode and they were quite shocked. I think it hits home a little bit more when they are faced with this sort of news. Matt and I had quite a lengthy discussion about my situation. It is hard for the children to understand that I am suffering the same illness that Pam, Wendy and Vanessa have as I look fairly well most of the time and yet these 3 ladies lost their battle. This news kind of makes me more determined to fight as much as I can and I believe going to Germany is the right thing to do.
My best wishes go to the Kyte family at this difficult time and I hope that we can meet up again in the future.
"The Wright Stuff"
I got invited to take part in the live chat show on Channel 5 today with Julie Stokes. It was quite nerve wracking as it was going out live but I took a few props with me ie Frank the Feelings Bear and mine and Ellie's teddy bears.
We got picked up at Paddington at 7.45am and were chauffer driven to the studios for 8am where I met the other lady, Penny, who was going on the show with us to talk about how you prepare your child in the event of your death and in Penny's case how she copes with the loss of her husband and the impact it had on her children.
The makeup department did a marvellous job, wish I had someone on hand at home everyday!!
Matthew Wright introduced himself briefly before the show and then afterwards he chatted to us in the green room for quite a while. He is lovely and very funny. We had a right laugh and he even gave me his mobile number!!!
Matthew told me about his great friend, Trevor Sorbie who has made it his mission to help women who have lost their hair through illness. He has set up "My New Hair" which wants to help and support people suffering hair loss. If there is anyone reading this who has lost their hair through treatment or alopecia, please follow this link to find out more.http://www.trevorsorbie.com/templates/tmpl_wighead.php?templateid=9&pageid=168
Anyway the morning was a fantastic experience and I'm glad I did it.
"The Mummy Diaries"
Following 18 months of filming, the "Mummy Diaries" are finally here.
Just watched the first programme of the Mummy Diaries. This is my second viewing as I had seen it three weeks ago before starting the publicity campaign. It is very sad but also lovely to watch. I know exactly what the families are going through and I think it is wonderful that we have let Ricochet film us so that we can show the world what it is like living with cancer. I don't want to sweep it under the carpet.
Had a couple of phone calls this evening after the show went out, one in particular from a friend who lost his wife 7 months ago to breast cancer. I was so pleased that he was able to watch it, take heart from what the message is trying to convey and then ring me to chat.
Freddie watched it for the first time tonight and was a little upset. He got his feelings bear out. I asked him to show me by pointing at the bear which feelings he had at this time and he pointed to sadness and worry. He said he is worried that I might die. This is the first time that he has spoken of his feelings openly like this. I just kissed and cuddled him and reassured him of how much I loved him.
Julie Stokes did warn us that watching this particular episode might be hard for Freddie which is why he didn't watch it a couple of weeks ago.
Publicity for the Mummy Diaries