On February 25 last year, former Home and Away star Tessa James completed her final round of chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
This morning — exactly one year on — the 24-year-old shared a photo taken while she was having her head shaved, which she captioned, “25/02/15 – 12 months baby.”
The actress’ mother, Charis James, also commemorated the occasion by sharing an Instagram message of her own.
“Our beautiful resilient girl… 12 mths on today from your last treatment. Your passion for life and the people you love is inspiring to all of us,” she wrote.
Last August, James gave her first interview since her cancer diagnosis and treatment. As she told Sunday Night, the first sign of anything unusual came while she was living in Los Angeles in 2014.
Watch: The signs and statistics every woman should know about ovarian cancer. (Post continues after video.)
Eventually, she found a lump on her neck, which a biopsy revealed to be Hodgkin’s lymphoma — a rare blood cancer that affects the lymphatic system. She moved home to the Gold Coast to be with her family, including husband Nate Miles, and began 12 gruelling rounds of chemotherapy.
James admitted the treatment wore her down, and one point she had a panic attack.
“I remember calling Dad and saying, ‘I want to die, I don’t want to do this. I’m not strong enough. This isn’t worth it. I don’t want to feel sick any more. There’s got to be another way’,” she said. (Post continues after gallery.)
When she completed chemo last year, James shared her joy on social media, posting a photo of herself in a Wonder Woman surrounded by her loved ones in hospital, beneath a sign that read “done and dusted.”
“Often fear is the same emotion as excitement, it means you are breaking new ground” #newbeginnings #2015,” she wrote.
Since she was given the all clear, James has been living life to the fullest and knocking items off her bucket list — like a fashion shoot and an upcoming film role in Spin Out.
“It was a tiny role, but it was on my list to do a film, so I ticked that off ... I was on set every day, even if I wasn’t needed, and just watched. I just wanted to be around creative people. It got my fire going again, which I needed. It’s exciting," she told Sunday Style last October.
“I had six months of thinking about what I wanted to do and how I wanted to change how I’d been before. I’m a different person inside and outside now. I feel like I’ve got a whole lot more to give.”