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“This is me” my journey with metastatic breast cancer

Bernie Walsh

Metastatic Breast Cancer Patient

Cancer. Yes, I knew the word, but didn’t fear it until it knocked on my door in October 2012.


Finding a lump after getting out of the shower was the start of my cancer journey. Surgeries, followed by chemotherapy, hormone treatment and radiotherapy took eight months of my year, but 2013 was not going to get away from me, so I took part in the 5k Pink Run in aid of cancer research and then, a month later, the annual 5k in aid of the Marie Keating Foundation. I felt so good about myself as I had never taken part in anything like this before.

“It took cancer to give me the kick up the backside
to start living my life”

I honestly believe that taking part in the Marie Keating Foundation run that day was meant to happen. They have been a great support to me since we hooked up over the past number of years and even more so when, what I thought was a muscle spasm in my back in July 2017, turned out to be cancer revisiting me… I thought I had given it enough of my time, but sure, it must like me!

“Cancer does not define me!”

I believe that if you let cancer take over your life it will. I’m living with cancer but it’s not my life. Thankfully, my great medical team were able to sort out a partial removal of the tumour in my spine and I’m now on daily medication and monthly treatment in hospital as well as check-ups every three months with my oncologist.

I recently joined a group – Positive Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer, which is organised by the Marie Keating Foundation. We all take encouragement from each other; none of us know what tomorrow will bring, so we are just enjoying today.

“Don’t sweat the small things; life is too good to miss”

I have been given another chance at life. I love every day because I’m here and can experience the little things – like the sun on my face or the rain on my hair. I feel I have a purpose in life, I work part-time with lovely people and I look forward to going in every day. Coming home and sharing the day with my young adult kids… What could be better than that?

I’m still dancing with cancer but I have better moves than it do!

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