I'm Jojogingerhead, a 31 year old artist & musician based in Brighton (UK) satirically documenting the highs and lows of my secondary triple negative breast cancer diagnosis. Trying to see the light in a dark and scary situation without using the words fight, battle, journey or survivor.
Today is Easter Monday but for many thousands of other women like me, it is also mets Monday – a day to raise awareness of secondary, metastatic or stage IV breast cancer. This type of cancer has no cure and is the only type of breast cancer that kills. There is a social media movement in the US that is using the hashtags #MetsMonday #BCKills #DontIgnoreStageIV to post and share facts about the disease. Whilst most people are spending time with their loved ones, eating chocolate and having a day off work, many thousands of women all over the world are suffering with this disease. I personally have spent the morning in a load of pain from the cancer in my liver and wondering if the shooting pains in my head are side effects from all the drugs I’m on or something more sinister. I’m not trying to be a killjoy and I don’t want sympathy on this lovely bank holiday but I’m just trying to raise awareness of what some of us are going through.
With every holiday or milestone that passes it crosses my mind that this may be my last. Especially when I’m in rather a lot of pain, I wonder if this is the beginning of the end. These last few weeks the pains in my liver have got worse (I’m hoping it’s the chemo attacking the cancer), and I’ve seen more members of my online community pass away. It has spurred me on to do everything I possibly can to prolong my life for as long as possible. I am taking on board all the research I have done into alternative treatments; vitamins and supplements, following an alkaline diet more militantly, detoxifying and making my body as hostile a place as possible for cancer to thrive and exercising everyday if I can manage it. I will be writing about alternative treatments another time and posting information and the findings of my research on my website as I believe it’s vitally important to share knowledge, people can take it or leave but I’m not going to preach!
I’m also very aware of the 6 month prognosis given to me back in January, that number has stuck in my head and pretty much haunted every day since. That was exactly 3 months ago. Half of the 6 months is up and my scans so far show that the cancer in my liver is progressing. I haven’t had a scan since starting on the new drug Eribulin and I am waiting to start the drugs from the study I went to London about last week. It will be interesting to see future scan results and if anything has made a difference. I guess I’m like a human guineapig!
Anyway, I digress so back to mets Monday and why it’s important to raise awareness…
1 in 8 women will now face a breast cancer diagnosis at some point in their life and at least 30% will go on to develop secondary breast cancer. Half of the UK are now expected to get cancer yet the government are cutting cancer drugs and our cancer services are some of the worst in Europe.
Someone you know will be affected by this disease if they haven’t already. We need to campaign for better treatment and be more aware of where all this so called fundraised money is being spent. Cherish this beautiful sunny bank holiday and the time spent with the people you care about, I know I’m going to despite being in pain! I even managed to do some weeding with a kitchen knife, so far I have cut 3 worms in half…