lifestyle

One woman's inspirational attitude towards her terminal cancer.

Cancer Council - Girls' Night In
Thanks to our brand partner, Cancer Council - Girls' Night In

There are some stories that make you really sit up, take notice and appreciate everything you have in your life.

45-year-old Hassia Dumoulin, a mum to a seven-year-old boy, is currently going through chemotherapy for bowel cancer after a long battle with breast cancer years ago.

I have a son just like Hassia – but the difference is that I’m (thankfully) healthy. The strength and positivity of this remarkable woman is truly inspiring.

battling terminal cancer
“45-year-old Hassia Dumoulin, mum to a seven-year-old boy, is currently going through chemotherapy for bowel cancer after a long battle with breast cancer years ago.” Image: Supplied.

Originally diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, Hassia spent years in treatment, including undergoing a double mastectomy. By 2013 she had beaten it. But in June this year she was diagnosed with bowel cancer and she was given between six and 36 months to live.

Unwilling to let cancer beat her, Hassia has grasped life with both hands. She’s keeping herself busy – learning Japanese, studying and doing charity work while raising her son. She told me she is dedicated to literally living each day like it’s her last.

“When your oncologist tells you that you have between six and 36 months left, you need to focus on the good things. I have a little hope of living longer because I’m only 45, but every day I try to live life to the fullest,” Hassia says.

It was when Hassia’s son started telling her “don’t die” and “I want you by my side mummy” that she decided to look for help outside of the medical profession. She said the Cancer Council was there to provide essential support services every step of the way.

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battling terminal cancer
“It was when Hassia’s son started telling her “don’t die” and “I want you by my side mummy” that she decided to look for help outside of the medical profession.” Image: Supplied.

“After being diagnosed earlier this year I lost my job and needed help. I wanted to do something with my brain to keep myself occupied, and needed to talk to someone. Cancer Council found me a social worker and I also have access to a psychologist who specialises in cancer support,” she says.

“Through them I also found a course to complete, and am now studying a Certificate 4 in Advertising.”

Hassia has organised and been a guest speaker at a Girls’ Night In, a Cancer Council Pink Ribbon initiative, helping to raise much-needed funds and awareness.

“The Girls’ Night In is all about friends, and thanks to that I have a lot of support. What it does for people like me is amazing – bringing people together and helping us to get on with it,” she says.

“I’m also very lucky to live in a very supportive community, with people from my son’s school organising regular dinners.”

Even more inspiring than her determination to enjoy every single day, is her attitude toward cancer itself.

“I’ve never been angry at the cancer. Sad, yes, and definitely scared – but I have to think that, for every day I’m alive, I need to really live and think positive,” she says.

“I need to enjoy every moment and be with the people who help.”

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