A mum-of-one who thought she had beaten breast cancer has been given just months to live.
Three years ago Renee Boyd underwent a mastectomy and a short treatment of radiation before she was told there was just a two per cent chance her cancer would return.
However just a few months later Renee, a ceramicist from Auckland, was working in her studio when she blacked out and was rushed to hospital.
The 50-year-old’s breast cancer had travelled to her brain where 10 tumours, nine of which are inoperable, had developed.
She said she is struggling with losing her independence as her body weakens but is most devastated about leaving her 12-year-old son, Jed, behind.
Renee Boyd (pictured), 50, was told there was a two per cent chance her cancer would return after a battle with breast cancer but just months later she was given a fatal diagnosis
Her breast cancer had travelled to her brain where had 10 tumours had developed and she was given the devastating news she may only have months to live (pictured with her son Jed, 12)
‘I remember being at my pottery wheel and getting up to change the clay water and my left arm tried to twist around on its self like it was trying to break my wrist and then I blacked out in my studio,’ she told FEMAIL.
‘I woke up maybe 15 minutes later and managed to get upstairs, wrap my self in a sleeping bag to get warm as I was freezing and then lay down in my office to see if I got better.’
After a few hours her condition was not improving so Renee rang the health line where she was told to go straight to hospital where she had a CT scan.
When the scan revealed the 10 tumours, her thoughts immediately went to her son.
‘I thought of my only son Jed immediately and that I wouldn’t be there to care for him,’ she said.
Renee’s health battles started in 2020 when she found out a lump in her breast was cancerous.
A scan revealed she had ten tumours on her brain. ‘I thought of my only son Jed immediately and that his Mum wouldn’t be there to care for him,’ she said (pictured with partner Dave and Jed)
‘I’ve always had dense breasts with lots of cysts therefore it was very hard to feel for breast cancer lumps as everything felt like a lump,’ she said.
She was diagnosed with stage 2 cancer and was told she would need a mastectomy and radiation treatment.
‘I just cried as one of good friends had stage 3 breast cancer and another friend is living with cancer too so there was a lot of cancer in a small group of friends.’
Thankfully, after the surgery and radiation, doctors said Renee’s prognosis was good and she had a two per cent chance of cancer ever returning.
As the months went by Renee settled back into her normal life, enjoying her work and spending time with Jed and her partner Dave until the seizure in August 2021 changed everything.
Doctors are unable to operate to remove most of the tumours in Renee’s brain as they are in a ‘compromised’ position and could severely impact her speech.
They were able to remove a tumour that was closest to the skull but the surgery left Renee on full bed rest and she had to undergo chemotherapy as well as another more intensive bout of radiation.
‘I basically had to live from my bed feeling very sick, I had to use a walker to get around my own house while doing brain radiation for weeks,’ she said.
Renee is trying her best to stay positive despite losing her independence and her ability to work and make an income to pay for her rising medical bills with no insurance
Renee had to have all her treatments while Australia’s Covid cases were spiking and heavy restrictions were in place.
‘Having brain cancer and being in and out of hospital was very scary while the Covid pandemic was all around as the nurses and doctors were worked so hard and all the restrictions of no visitors,’ she said.
‘It’s a challenge knowing that the future will be a lot shorter than I thought I would live and that I might not be here for all the milestones my son will go through.’
Renee is trying her best to stay positive despite losing her independence, her ability to work and make an income to pay for her rising medical bills with no insurance.
‘I have tried to do the best I can do with what I have got and try not to be too hard on myself as I have to do a lot more relying on others than I have ever done in my life,’ she said.
She said she has relied on the ‘amazing support’ from her family, friends and community and received ‘incredible love’ from lots of people in her life
‘We got a little puppy called Jimmy (pictured) to be there in the future so Jed has someone to help with the emotions of losing his mum,’ Renee said
Renee said she has ‘amazing support’ from her family, friends and community and has received ‘incredible love’ from lots of people in her life.
‘We also got a little puppy called Jimmy to keep me company and to be there in the future to wag his tail and greet Jed when he gets home from school so he has someone to help with the emotions of losing his mum,’ she said.
Renee said while her situation ‘really sucks and is very sad’ she offered some words for those battling cancer.
‘Try and be kind on yourself as you live or die with it and to surround yourself with people that are positive and great to be around as that can make such a difference on your own mental health,’ she said.
‘Pick and choose where you want to put your energy as you only have so much to give before you have to rest to have the energy again.’
A Give A Little account has been set up for Renee to help her and her family cope with the financial stress.
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