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Connie Johnson shares how she is spending her final days with her two young sons.

Connie Johnson’s sons, Willoughby and Hamilton, were just three and four when she was told she had breast cancer.

She was 33 years old and had battled cancer twice before. But this time, doctors said she “wouldn’t come out the winner” against the disease, and that her cancer was terminal.

Seven years on and Connie has made the heartbreaking decision to stop all treatment for her cancer, which has now spread to her liver.

Connie, now 40, is facing her final few months with her sons – now aged 10 and nine – and told ABC’s Sunday Brunch she is focused on spending “quality time” with her family.

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Connie Johnson with her two sons, Willoughby (L) and Hamilton. Image via Facebook.

"I thought I would only live six to 12 months when I was first diagnosed, so it's been amazing to have that extra time with my family," she said.

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"The first thing I thought when I got diagnosed was, 'My kids won't remember me'. I really wanted them to grow up to an age where they remembered me...not just from photos and stories people told, but actually have their own memories.

"My wish was that I could get through to an age where [they were old enough] to remember me and that has happened and it's been absolutely wonderful."

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Connie says being given extra time with her sons has been "wonderful". Image via Facebook.

But, she added, living with a terminal illness for seven years has brought a whole host of problems.

"My life isn't what my life was before. It's not uncommon for me to sleep 18 or 20 hours a day," she said.

LISTEN: Meshel Laurie speaks to Samuel Johnson on The Nitty Gritty Committee:

"My life just completely got taken over by cancer. I might feel well only between 10pm and 1am one day and don't see my kids at all. Then there are other days where I do get to spend lovely, quality time with them.

"Then there are the days where I'm too sick or I'm in hospital and if they see me, they can see that I am suffering."

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Connie with her brother, actor Samuel Johnson, who started the Love Your Sister charity in her honour. Image via Facebook.
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Connie said she "didn't really have a choice" when it came to stopping her cancer treatment - her body had decided it could handle no more.

"I've had about 10 years of active cancer treatments in my life for three different cancers and it all builds up in toxicity over the years," she said.

She then faced the devastating task of telling her two boys she was going to die.

"[We did it] through lots of tears, lots of questions...it's very, very difficult," she said.

"It's very confronting and I wouldn't wish for anybody to ever have to go through that discussion. It's the most confronting part of my whole cancer career, answering the kids' questions and addressing their grief."

Connie decided that "something good" had to come out of her 'cancer journey', and is now dedicated to making "normal" memories with her kids.

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As her "last hoorah" Connie is hoping to raise $1 million in five cent coins for cancer research. Image via Facebook.

"My legacy with family is playing board games with Willoughby, and watching Hamilton get better on his unicycle, skateboard and bike," she said in a separate interview with ABC last Friday.

"I like encouraging those interests and sharing the little moments because that's the stuff I remember from my childhood. I really want them to have those fond, just normal childhood memories with their mum."

On May 10, as part of her 'last hurrah', as she puts it, Connie will attempt to break an unofficial world record to raise money and awareness of the important of the early detection of all types of cancer.

All they need is your unwanted five cent coins, which will be made into a Big Heart on the Lyneham netball courts in Canberra, and hopefully collect $1 million worth of coins.

More information can be found on the Love Your Sister Facebook page.

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