We are Laura and Nicky, better known as the @secondarysisters. We are both 32, both wanted children and unable to fulfil that dream, both gym nutters and both determined to live life to the absolute max whilst living with an incurable breast cancer diagnosis.
Laura was diagnosed originally with primary breast cancer back in 2014, aged 25. She endured all the treatments possible, including chemo and a mastectomy and was classed as in remission from the middle of 2015. Unfortunately, a year later the cancer returned to her bones (humerus, spine and pelvis) so at the age of 28 she was given the news she was now a stage 4 cancer patient, which is only treatable, not curable. This meant more surgery and chemo, but thankfully has remained stable on her concoction of drugs for over 3 years.
Nicky was diagnosed aged 30 straight into secondaries following her first round of IVF. After discovering her IVF had failed she then also received the news her breast cancer had spread to most of the bones in her body. She responded well on her first line treatment for 19 months but her cancer then began to spread again therefore changing her treatment plan. Nicky has not been able to have any surgery due to the fact she was put on life prolonging medication straight away but is currently responding to her new treatment.
Unfortunately this is the reality of a stage 4 cancer patient. We do have options but they don't last forever.
A year ago, off the back of a cancer campaign shoot, we both met for the first time. Although there were over 40 models on the day, all with a cancer diagnosis, only 6 of us had secondary cancer, so as you can imagine we all immediately clicked, however the 2 of us very quickly found that we shared a very similar outlook on life and realised we had both found someone who completely understood one another so a friendship was quickly formed. After several months of nattering online we decided to organise a meet up in London for a girly day out in August 2019. Rarely do you find someone who is the same age, same situation and completely get you 100%. It felt like we had known each other for years.
On that day we both spoke about the a lack of support in the cancer community for those with a secondary diagnosis, and we both felt quite passionate about wanting to change that. Over tea and cake (the best medicine) we discussed the idea of setting up a page together and quickly a name was chosen. Within 24 hours we had set up a page on instagram and had our own email address, and from then on SecondarySisters was born.
We wanted the page to be a safe place for people to access information, educate the masses, share tips and tricks on living our best lives, allowing other in the same situation to connect and to raise awareness of the disease.
Within 8 months we have grown an enormous amount. We have a following of over 8000 people on our social media platform, a complete mixture of cancer and non-cancer bods from all around the world. We encourage everyone to follow our page for not only those with cancer but to help those who may be supporting someone they know going through a cancer diagnosis. We have been lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to use our voices on both TV and Radio outlets, which has allowed us to reach more people. It is important to us that as many people as possible become more aware of the realities of living with stage 4 cancer.
Being diagnosed with incurable secondary cancer can be a dark and frighting time. Most people think that when someone is diagnosed with cancer they will go through treatment and beat the disease, but for many this is not the case. Since meeting each other we have found our diagnosis much easier to deal with as we are now know longer feel alone. We hope that for many of our followers they too will find that person who they can connect with to help make everything that little bit easier.
We hope that it helps people to see what it is like to live with cancer and that even though our future is uncertain we can still live well.
You can find us on instagram and facebook under @secondary.sisters and if you want to delve into our personal stories a bit more you can find us at @baldbooblessandbeautiful and @nicknacklou.
All Our Love