An East Dunbartonshire nurse is on a mission to raise awareness and funds for research into secondary breast cancer.
Morag Bishop (59) believed she had beaten the disease 13 years ago when she had a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy after doctors found a tumour.
But devastatingly, in September 2018, tests on a suspected stomach ulcer revealed the disease had spread to her liver, lungs and bones. While it could be treated, it could not be cured.
Even worse was to come. Morag told the Herald: “Chemotherapy was prescribed aggressively to treat the cancer for 24 weeks.
“Unfortunately during the second treatment my body went into anaphylactic shock and my heart flatlined – it stopped for 25 minutes.
“My family was told there was little hope and even if I did wake up brain damage might have set in.
“Luckily for me I had a fabulous anaesthetist and cardiologist who kept my body alive, and stabilised my heart.
“Amazingly I did wake up, on a ventilator and with dialysis, and have continued to live my life. Although it may be short, I intend to live it to the best I can.”
She added: “I am telling my story to raise awareness of secondary metastatic cancer which is now being investigated and trials funded.
“It is a silent disease which the patient after experiencing successful treatment for primary cancer does not expect.”
She said she believed further scans after initial successful treatment should be every two or three years.
Courageous mum-of-two Morag, who is now on oral chemo which is safer for her body, took that message to the catwalk on Thursday night at the Breast Cancer Care Scotland Fashion Show at the Hilton Glasgow Hotel.
She joined 24 other models with the aim of raising funds for research.
Funds raised at the show will help find ways to prevent the disease, develop new treatments and support people with the physical and emotional impact of breast cancer.
Thursday’s show marked a year to the exact date of Morag’s brush with death when her heart stopped beating.
Morag said: “I would be delighted if anyone wants to donate to Breast Cancer Care. It would help raise funds for such a good cause.”
A spokesperson for Breast Cancer Care said: “We want to see new treatments for those affected by secondary breast cancer. We want new ways to detect and diagnose that guide treatment decisions. And we want ways to prevent secondary breast cancer developing in the first place.”
Morag, who lives in Bearsden with husband Nick, son Callum, her daughter Amanda and mum Alison, added: “My family mean the world to me. I love life, I love my home and my dogs, and I love to travel.
“This terrible disease is debilitating and exhaustion sets in but to the onlooker I look normal. Inside though, the fear is real and the time ticks away.
“So I must make the most of my life with my family and friends.”