I was diagnosed with stage 3 aggressive HER 2 positive breast cancer in January 2010. I had a right mastectomy followed by chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and a year of treatment with the drug herceptin. It was a really awful time - I was in and out of the hospital with infections and I could not work for a year or so as I was exhausted.
Although access issues did not affect me too much, I know that some cancer drugs are incredibly expensive - including my herceptin drug which was over £38,000 at the time I was treated. When I was diagnosed some patients could not get herceptin due to where they lived: it was like a postcode lottery. I felt very strongly about the unfairness of this and still do - all drugs should be made available to those who need them.
I am coming up to 8 years clear in January and I take one day at a time and try to be positive about the future. I am involved with Just Treatment to get the message out there as having been diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer myself means I know what it's like. It's very important we defend patients from pharmaceutical greed as it is people's lives we’re talking about: problems of access come down to the pharmaceutical companies being greedy with money or trying to make a fast buck.