Perfectly Frank: Another milestone with my birthday

Mandie, third left, turned 28 in August
Mandie, third left, turned 28 in August

I thoroughly enjoyed my family holiday cruising around Croatia. However, home is where the heart is and it took me no time whatsoever to get back to the good old Scottish downpour of rain.

The first night arriving back in Scotland, the temperature was around 14 degrees compared to 40-plus in Croatia!

So I was thankful to have my very own extra cosy and cuddly hot water bottle Frank, the pug, to keep me warm until my body readjusted.

It’s been an incredible month – one of the highlights of the year for me. I reached another year older. I like to think I’m still around 17 (wishful thinking). My body being artificially put through the menopause via medicine makes me feel like I’m in my 50s (especially in the morning when I am trying to get up and out the door) but I am officially 28.

I have smashed another target with reaching my birthday. It no longer only feels like a celebration – it’s an achievement.

As always I was an extremely lucky lady and had the pleasure of spending this occasion with family and friends.

It was jam-packed with all my favourite things – barbecues, dinner and birthday drinks. The common theme being food!

Following on from my previous column I had CT scan results waiting on me. These results would confirm if my cancer had spread further or not.

Much to my delight I was given the best news possible – that I am stable.

There is no new cancer showing at the moment other than the tumour on my sternum bone. So I have been granted a further three months of freedom.

The relief for me is that for the whole of 2017 my body has been under control and I have more or less been lucky enough to have lived a normal life. It also reinforces that my current medication is continuing to work.

I have never felt more content and ready to live.

When I was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer and told my life expectancy was limited this did initially pray on my mind a lot, always thinking at special occasions ‘I wonder how many more of these I will have’.

The more big scans I undergo and anxiously await the results, the more confident I feel that there is still a lot of fight left.

My very short life expectancy has been blown out of the water. The results speak for themselves.

A friend once told me: “Listen doll, you are going to outlive us all and get your letter from the Queen when you turn 100”. I remember laughing and thinking what planet are you on –I really don’t want to live to 100!

With the vast medical improvements being discovered and trialled it fills me with excitement to think what will be readily available to us all in the next few years.

Medication is advancing at a quick rate.

I’ve got big and exciting plans ahead and won’t stop until I have accomplished them.

I hope you are all doing the same.

*In 2015 Mandie was diagnosed with breast cancer. Further tests revealed that it had spread and her condition was terminal. Since then she has drawn up a bucket list of things she wants to do. She now works with Breast Cancer Now to raise awareness of the early warning signs.