‘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.’

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‘Originally I couldn’t stand up without support. I used to come up here to King Street with my walker and sell my pictures. I progressed from a walker to a cane and now I can stand up without the cane.

‘I had two strokes in 2002. My physio at the time said I should do something with my hands because my balance was completely shot. Her theory was if your hand-eye coordination improves, so does your balance. So I started to do picture framing as a way of recuperation and my balance has improved no end.

‘Everything on my right side – my leg, my foot, my arms – I had no control over them whatsoever and that’s why at times I had to strap my arm to my body to control it. I used to come up here to King Street and sell my stuff one-handed.

‘My left hand has become my right hand. I’ve learned to write left-handed, shave left-handed; I’ve learned to do everything left-handed. Every now and then I forget my circumstances and I pick up a pen and go to sign my name right-handed like I used to and it doesn’t quite work.’