‘The GP said I had a 50% chance of survival when I got the prognosis. I asked her what that meant because no one survives life. Everyone’s got 100% chance of dying so what does a 50% chance mean? And she said 50% chance of surviving the next year.

‘If it wasn’t for new forms of treatment apparently I would have died. I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of advanced breast cancer four years ago and according to my oncologist I’m still in the critical phase for another year.

‘I don’t take my life for granted. I think I’ve been lucky to have been given these four years and I don’t know how much longer I have.

‘I watched a documentary once and they interviewed a funeral director. She said that regardless of the religion, a good life has had three things – compassion, love and gratitude. I wrote those three things in black texta on my mirror and I looked at it every day. The gratitude one is something that I really hold close to my heart. You try and see the good in everything.

‘What I’m grateful for is that I live more in the moment and appreciate the day. If you’ve only got a year left, you’ve really got to make the most of that year. That doesn’t make me different to anyone else. Everyone should and could live their lives that way but it’s just sort of being brought home to me more because it’s a reality.’

Val is fundraising for the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. Please donate or share this post:
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