A message from Alex

Living with Secondary Breast Cancer


Hello to everyone who has been following my mother, Sara’s, blog.

My my name is Alex, mentioned in several of my mother’s posts. I feel honoured to have shared so much of my mum’s journey with her.

Sadly my mother passed away on Sunday November 29th in St.Gemma’s Hospice. It has been a very sad and emotional time. My mum fought on until the very end. She continued to be so strong, brave and to support those around her.

Thank you for all your lovely cards and messages. I have felt so moved and blessed to have such amazing support shown to my mum, to me and to my family. Please feel free to write in the comments on the blog. All comments and wishes will be passed on to the family.

The funeral date for my mum is going to be December 22nd at 13.40 at Lawnswood Cemetery in Leeds…

View original post 203 more words

I am a turkey 🙈

I know- I have not written yet about my recent charity trek to China- but I will get around to that.

Now- let me talk about my recent trip to Turkey ❤️❤️❤️❤️

My dad and I returned back from our trip to Turkey just over a week ago. We had the most amazing time, and I am glad to confirm that not speaking Turkish for over 10 years did not seem to have made a difference. I was speaking Turkish as if I had not left Turkey. I did however sometimes choose to pretend I understand nothing- in particular when a taxi driver was telling me that Hitler was his idol- hmmm….

After flying to Ankara with Pegasus Airlines- which was quite an experience, they mixed up the gates, the flight was packed and sitting in the plane I was doubting my ability to speak Turkish, as I did not understand a word anyone was saying. (I guess it is a bit like my German friends coming over to Newcastle and not understanding Geordie), we arrived at the new Esenboga airport.

Our time in Ankara was amazing, we met up with a lot of our old friends, and walking a long the Tunus Cadesi, my dad and I were greeted by the green grocer- 11 years later and they still remembered us :-)

I had arranged to celebrate my dad’s birthday at the Cafe de Cafe in Ankara, where we had spent so much time when we had lived in Turkey. By coincidence Cafe de Cafe was celebrating their 20th Anniversary on my dad’s birthday. They actually opened the year that we had moved to Turkey. The service offered to my dad from Cafe de Cafe was amazing.

My dad and I then moved on to Cappadokia were we met up with one of our dear friends, who owns a carpet shop in Goereme. Tourism has definitely increased in the last 10 years, and the horse drawn carts seem to have disappeared, replaced by tractors. I suppose I am being nostalgic. We stayed in one of the most amazing cave houses.

After Cappadocia, my dad and I drove on to Izmir, with a stop over in Afyon. Driving in Turkey is one thing that has not changed, people still drive like lunatics, a zebra crossing is merely an indication for pedestrians that they could cross the road, red lights are a suggestion to stop and indicating is optional, and only necessary if you intend to turn in the opposite direction that you indicated.

We arrived in Izmir with an amazing blue sky and temperatures of 20 degrees- for the beginning of November pretty good temperatures. In Izmir we met up with the Head Chef of the Swiss Hotel Izmir, and we stayed at his house in Urla. Being so close to the sea, being able to spend time walking along the sea side was amazing. We even visited a new Winery close by, you wouldn’t have known that you were in Turkey, it was amazing, you might have thought you were in France.

Instead of driving to Istanbul, my dad and I decided to take advantage of flying there with Pegasus airlines. With the government subsidizing the airlines, flying has become cheaper than taking the bus.
After landing in Sahiba Goekce it took over 1.5 hours to get to Kozyatagi, which is on the Asian side of Istanbul- traffic there is more manic than in Cairo!!

I was supposed to run the Istanbul Marathon, but unfortunately I had a cold and therefore decided not to run. Instead my dad and I spent a quiet day on one of the Princess Islands, it was lovely! Very serene and relaxing.

One thing is for sure- I am not going to let it be another 11 before I visit Turkey again!

I love Turkey- as some of my friends say, I am a Turk 🙃😄🤗

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Back to blogging


It’s been a while!!! No new is good news, and in a way the reason their has been no news is because I have been busy living!

Since last writing a post, my mom had come to visit me, I went diving with seals, joined CoppaFeel!’s Summee Boob Tour at Leeds Festival, walked in the Peak District, ran the Great North Run and trekked the Great Wall of China in aid of CoppaFeel!

Crazy- to think I have managed to fit this much into just 3 months (I work full time too!!) My brain sometimes struggles to keep up with all this craziness- sometimes I realise that possibly I should sit down, have a breather and just relax, but then I notice that I am crap at that! I am at my best when I am super busy and don’t know where my brain is! That is what I call living!

A couple of days ago I wrote a post in a young cancer patient’s Facebook page- I was replying to someone’s question whether it was normal to feel scared, upset and lost. This person was questioning whether or not to do chemo and felt rushed, felt like a marionette- dragged from one appointment to another- decisions being made for her, no time to breath… I could empathise with her because this is exactly how I felt when I was diagnosed in 2012. This was me 3.5 years ago!

What a difference 3.5 years make! The difference between racing around because you want, rather than because you have to! Not knowing where your head is because you have choosen to do too much, not because you are scared and overwhelmed because you don’t understand what is happening! Realising that you there are things you can’t change, and knowing to accept these, whilst concentrating on things you can do!

I guess, I am back in control! Back in control, because I have let go, I know I can’t control everything, but I can control how I deal with the now! and in a way that’s what I told this person…

Life’s good right now- and there is so much more I want to write about, but need to find the time for.


I have been feeling very agitated lately! Kinda wanting to jump out of my skin agitated!! All without any real reason, or so I thought

…however looking at the calendar, I realised that 3 years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer!  There is not really much I want to say about this, there is no witty blog about how great life is now- because at the moment I feel a bit lost!

Lost because I don’t know where I am going! Lost because I don’t feel quite at home at the moment. Lost because I just don’t really know what I want to do! I don’t know where I want to be! And whilst I have never been one for being particularly decisive in knowing what I want, I feel that breast cancer has robbed me of my choices. Being on a daily, monthly and biannual cocktail of drugs I can’t just pack my bags and leave! I no longer can be carefree and spontaneous, but have to plan ahead, ensure I have medical cover wherever I go, and remember to take my pills!

At the moment I just want to spit out my dummy!! and say this if fucking unfair!!

For a little tbt here is a picture of me bold, a first for me! I have never shared this with anyone!!Rhyan

Tagged , , ,


So super duper excited!!!!

Flights for my father/daughter/marathon trip to Turkey in November have been booked! It’s been 11 years that I visited Turkey properly!! I lived ther for 6 years, and in a way it’s my 2nd home!! We will be flying to Ankara, Cappadocia and Istanbul to visit friends and eat lots of amazing Turkish food!!! I can’t wait!!! Ohhh and run a marathon in 2 continents! Bonus!!

I also booked my flights earlier on this month to fly to Rio de Janeiro in December/January to go and visit my sister there! Having been born in Brazil, she has a Brasilian passport, and after meeting her boyfriend on her travels through Central Amerika, she now works as an English teacher in Rio. Christmas and New Years Eve in Brazil- whoop, whoop!

I love life at the moment!!

For those who ask themselves how I can afford this- it’s all about priorities, I don’t have a morgage, nor do I have kids, nor pets for that matter. I drive a car that is as basic as you can get. My life is about living in the moment, enjoying the now, I want to enjoy what I have now- because no one knows what will happen tomorrow. Today I am well, so I will travel 😄

Tagged , , , , , ,

And snooz…

I ran my 6 race this year today- the Leeds 10K…I did in 1:04 min, which is 6 minutes faster than last year, and I was wearing a boob!


Hopefully next year I will finally beat the 60 minute mark!

I am of to book my flights for my trip to Turkey now! I am planning on running the Istanbul Marathon in November and I ended up organising a little father daughter trip around it 😃.

Tagged , , , , ,

Hip Hip Huray

So, I had my bone scan, I hated having my scan! First of all there is the, we need to access you veins…yay, joy…my veins love being poked and prodded…not! It took them 3 attempts, and ultimately using a baby butterfly to finally find a vein to inject the radioactive dye which is used in the bone scan. Mini Tschernobyl going on in my body- hahaha! Now I just had to wait for 3 hours, for the dye to be taken up by my bones! And finally all I had to do was to lie down and be scanned.

Who wants to lie still for 25 minutes, not me! This all was made even worse when at the end of the scan the radiographer advised me that he would be back in 2 minutes, queue racing heart, sick to my stomach, me going arghhh, I knew it, my breast cancer has spread! The thing is, if you have had a bit experience with this cancer malachy, you know that second opinions can mean danger…

So, I am lying there, having a small panic attack…so as soon as the second radiographer left the room, I insisted on getting up, and tried to question the original radiographer on what had been going on…knowing quite well that they can actually not tell you anything. The thing that he did say to me, as I had already guessed, is that if they think they see anything untoward, a more senior radiographer is asked to double check what they see…the thing that they saw was a spot on my lower spine- which had already been there 2 years ago…so the radiographer was not to worried.

This all happened 10 days ago…and guess what, it was 10 days of waiting! 10 days of my brain going, what if, what if it has spread, can I then still do my trek to China? Should I buy this scuba diving equipment, or is it possible not worth it, as I might not be allowed to dive anymore…

But no news is good news! Today I got a letter from my oncologist…and hip, hip hurray, all is well in cancer land! There is NO EVIDENCE of Bone Metastasis!!! Yay me!!

Tagged , , , , ,

3 years…and everything is ok(ish)

3 years ago, I found a lump! 3 years ago, I was told that this something growing in my right boob, was 99% benign…3 years ago, after going back and forth to the Drs, I was eventually told that this “benign lump” wasn’t so benign, but was a 6 cm large Breast Cancer tumor. 3 years ago, I didn’t know if I would still be alive, 3 years later!

3 years!!

Yesterday I went for my yearly follow up; I even got to see my favourite (now that’s an oxymoron) oncologist, but nevertheless it was a rather stressful appointment. I have been having these rather annoying, not constant, but constantly reoccurring back pains. Back pain, you say, that’s nothing to worry about….Now in a perfectly healthy human being, back pain, especially lower back pain is NOTHING to worry about. Unfortunately, having had cancer, I no longer am considered perfectly healthy!

I was huming and awing about whether or not to mention this back pain to my oncologist, as mentioning them would mean that he a) might think I am a hypochondriac, which I personally believe every cancer survivor is, and b) he would probably ensure I would get some kinda test done, which would give me a somewhat definite answer on whether or not it was something sinister to worry about…i.e whether or not the breast cancer had managed to spread to my spine. Doing a scan would give me some kinda certainty, either, that the cancer had not spread, or that it had…and currently I am living in this state of blissful ignorance, and I was not quite sure whether I wanted this changing. However, after being asked whether everything had been alright for the last year, I decided to open Pandora’s box and let my oncologist know that in fact I had been having pains that I was not to sure about.

My oncologist thinks my back pain is more likely caused by all the incessant running I have been up to, since he last saw me, which whilst it is good for my osteopenic bone health, does bare some risks, such as hairline fractures, ec.,nevertheless he felt that it was better to be safe than sorry, and he has ordered a bone scan. Dr P filled out the referral, past me on a slip of paper for the phlebotomist, and advised me that I would be referred for a bonce scan as soon as possible. He is confident that there is nothing! to worry about. My logic tells me that my back pain is unlikely to be linked to Breast Cancer, however, until I know for definite, I will be worrying about what is going on in my spine….The frustrating thing being that I had  actually managed to box away all these worries, fairly, successfully over the last couple of months, and had just started to really enjoy my life!

I said to a friend of mine, this bastard of a disease just likes throwing shit at you, especially when you think you have it all figured out.

So, now I wait for my referral for a bone scan! Yay me!!

I am sure it is nothing, and if it is, I will have to deal with it, there is nothing else to do, but to carry on, one foot after the other!

Tagged , , , ,

Leeds Half Marathon

So I just ran my 4th race of the year, for my challenge of 12 races in 12 months.
I ran the Leeds Half Marathon- which is part of the Run For All Series. Whilst the course was the toughest I have run, Leeds was the most supportive City! If you want to feel loved- run in Leeds! There wasn’t a lot of fancy dress runners- so at first I felt a bit self-conscious but this quickly evaporated when mile after mile people came towards me- wishing me on, cheering me on. Maybe it’s Jane Thomlinson’s legacy. Jane after being diagnosed with late stage Breast cancer, managed to raise over 1.8 million pounds with sporting challenges- that would be difficult for someone who was healthy. I hate the word inspirational- but she has inspired my running challenge.

So thank you to the people of Leeds for all your support!!! I would not have been able to do it without you! Xxx

Tagged , , , , ,

Long time no blog

Yes its been a while! Sorry…life caught up with me!

Tonight I watched the #cword a BBC production of the equally funny and sad story of Lisa Lynch, who had documented her journey with breast cancer in her amazing blog http://www.alrighttit.com. I started reading her blog when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2012, and her blog made me realise that feeling shit when going through chemo is alright!! Feeling pissed of with this situation was alright!! Lisa was the first person who made me realise that I needed to concentrate on living, rather than letting breast cancer rule my life!

Lisa sadly passed away of breast cancer in 2013! She was 33!! I am 34! To say that this does not freak me out would be a lie!!  It has been 2.5 years and I still fret about my breast cancer coming back. I no longer live in constant fear! But I do have to deal with massive anxiety issues, especially when it comes to scan times.

I have found my way of dealing with my fear of recurrence, is to throw myself into some insane running, trekking, fundraising challenge . Instead of obsessing on whether or not something might or might not happen, I rather concentrate on challenging myself, and proving to myself that I can do it. I can run 12 races in 12 months- even though my body at the moment is telling me that maybe I need to slow down. I have another week until the Leeds Half Marathon!!

Not only am running 12 races in 12 months, I am also trecking the Great Wall of China, in Oktober!!

So I would really, really appreciate it, if you could support my fundraising effort, and donate to my everyday hero page https://greatwallcoppafeel.everydayhero.com/uk/rhyan-trecking-the-great-wall-of-china, and help me raise some funds for CoppaFeel! to help them continue their work, young people need to be educated about the importance of checking their boobs and the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. Knowing your boobs can save your life!

Tagged , , , ,
Julie & The Knits

Cute & Quirky Knits inspired by the things I love

where is noodles?

travelling tales of a lost wanderer

Voices of Metastatic Breast Cancer

#voicesofMBC - A social media campaign to be seen and heard




Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 887 other followers

%d bloggers like this: