Just before Christmas, Rebecca Broughton was told that her triple-negative breast cancer, which she’d been battling since she was 18 weeks pregnant with her second child, had metastasized and spread to her brain. She’d been through hours of difficult treatments, but it had not been enough to save her life.
The disease is very likely to kill Rebecca now that it’s reached such an inaccessible location of her body, and she probably has only months left to live, as suggested by her most recent scan, which was done in March. For the most part, she says, she’s been able to accept this new reality, but the timing has been absolutely miserable, and the latest news about her condition has been a “kick to the stomach.”
“I had treatment all last year, it was just about managing it, the cancer is incurable but the treatment was working,” says Rebecca. “But then just before Christmas, doctors told me it had spread to my brain. Then in March, I was told there were more tumours and swelling in my brain. I’m now waiting on more scan results to work out what is going on from the neck down, but if the new treatment I’m on doesn’t slow things down I am looking at a lot less time here with my boys.”
Article continues below
Our Featured Programs
See how we’re making a difference for People, Pets, and the Planet and how you can get involved!
Last year, after her terminal diagnosis, Rebecca, who is a nurse, made herself a “life list” of things she wants to accomplish during her life. She hoped to visit London and Wales, as well as spend some time with her family at her favorite nearby beach, Croy. She also hoped to reach the age of 30 and see both her kids go to school for the first time.
Her friends and community rallied around her, raising £18,000 to help her enjoy her life without worrying so much about her medical expenses. But when the COVID-19 lockdowns went into effect, Rebecca was kept from doing some of the things she would have loved to do with her family.
One of the things the 27-year-old mother of two would like to do with her last days on this earth, of course, is say goodbye to all the people she loves—in person. But COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns are making that impossible.
Rebecca, who is married to 30-year-old Barry Broughton and mother to one-year-old Rory and three-year-old Joseph, is hoping to plan a final party where her loved ones can come and celebrate her life and say goodbye to her before she passes. But she’s not even sure it’ll be possible.
Now all Rebecca and her family can do is wait and hope that COVID-19 restrictions lessen enough that she is able to see her extended family and friends and say goodbye to them before it’s too late.
In the meantime, she’s been only able to see her immediate family, and they haven’t been able to go out and do much. Rebecca has also had to attend all of her appointments and treatments by herself without any support people by her side.
“It has been really tough; my husband was never with me with appointments. I’ve got an amazing husband, friends, and family, you have just got to keep busy,” says Rebecca.
All the same, she says, she’s doing her best to stay positive. “The thing that has kept me going is the love and support around me,” she says. “There is an acceptance of what I am facing. We just have to make the most of the situation. There is no way I’m going to sit in a room and go crazy waiting to die. I want to live as much as I can with everybody.”
Now that COVID-19 restrictions are finally beginning to lift, Rebecca is wasting no time in getting out and doing the things with her family that she’s been longing to do.
We wish Rebecca and her family all the best. May she live out the rest of her days happily, and may others be inspired to enjoy their lives the way she has.
Support those fighting Breast Cancer at The Breast Cancer Site for free! →