Despite being in palliative care, Fiona has decided to give back to the community this year by participating in Dry July 2021.
In June last year, Fiona was diagnosed with de novo metastatic breast cancer. She never had a previous diagnosis of breast cancer prior to them finding that it had spread from her breast to her liver, lymph nodes and bones. At age 44, with two young children, the shock waves were huge.
“Breast cancer was one thing, but to go from chemo to funeral in five days was extraordinary. The pace at which the cancer was growing was frightening; the tumour tripled in size within two weeks, and I felt my life slipping away with each day.”
Within three months, Fiona was unable to walk and within four they found it had spread to her spine. The week of her diagnosis, Fiona and her husband made the life altering decision to move to the country, to live a slower life and to set their family up within a community that would support them when her health would not.
Thankfully, 12 months on, Fiona is now in a great head space and treats her cancer as a chronic illness, one she can live with, but one she has to learn to manage. She shared how part of that is learning to ask for help but also to accept help.
“As a mother with cancer, you are trying your best to heal yourself and juggle the day to day running a home and looking after the emotional and daily needs of your young children. There is little support you can access and when I found Mummy’s Wish, I was so grateful that there would be an opportunity for mothers to get the help that I desperately needed but didn’t have at that time.”
While the doctor may have given her a short time frame to live, Fiona chooses to see that as a suggestion rather than fact.
“I see my diagnosis as a LIFE sentence rather than a death sentence. I see my cancer as a gift – one that has provided me with the opportunity to look at my life differently, to focus on what is important, to get in touch with who I am and to make sure I live the hell out of the time I have.”
Fiona is thankful and blessed to have had an amazing cheerleading squad within the Family Support Team and the extended Oac Family.
“Through your generosity and kindness, I hope other mothers and their children will have the opportunity to feel such support via Mummy’s Wish.
“It has been challenging getting into a positive mindset, but I am determined to beat this. I might be running a marathon over a sprint, but I am still in the race!”