“At the back of my mind, something didn’t feel right.”
But the former Home and Away actress, who entered remission in April this year following 12 rounds of chemotherapy over six months, still believes she has a long way to go.
The actress appeared on the cover of Sunday Style with husband Nate Myles over the weekend, and spoke honestly about what it was like during chemotherapy, and the months after. Something which we are sure many cancer survivors can relate to.
“It doesn’t just end when they say ‘Your treatment’s finished, you’re OK.’ You have to deal with the after-effects.” James told Sunday Style.
‘While it was great that I didn’t have to go through that [treatment] any more, I felt I was going to go through something else. I still had so much work to do within myself. I still felt the physical and emotional effects of what had happened to me. When my treatment was over, I could do anything I wanted, but I didn’t know where to start’ she continued.
At the time of her diagnosis, Tessa was living in Los Angeles pursing her acting career, but flew back to Australia a lot to be with Myles and her family.
Tessa has shared her story on social media. (Post continues after gallery)
“I was exercising a lot, auditioning, flying a lot. For six months, I’d been saying to Nate that I felt tired; I had a headache, a stomach ache.’
Nate, as many would, told her to rest and take a step back. But then she found a lump on her collarbone.
Twelve months earlier, her father had been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“I definitely had a gut feeling it was cancer, and all of the tests and tiptoeing around were just precautions. But then I’d think, it can’t be. My dad was sick — it can’t happen to me. That would just be cruel”, James told Sunday Style.
But cruel it was.
“I was in the car with my mum and a girlfriend when the doctor called.”
“I knew what he was going to say. I was extremely upset. I went into planning mode. How was I going to deal with this? I knew I was going to be fine, but how was I going to get on top of it?”
Her husband of four years, Nate Myles, helped her through and was very much in awe of how she handled the situation. “… Without any knowledge of the result, she just kept turning up and doing it anyway.’
A year later and James is definitely on the road to recovery. She is working towards her ambition to be a working actress in the US, she and Myles have even purchased an apartment in LA.
“Basically, I have to start again, but I’m trying not to look at that as a bad thing. I look completely different. The roles I get to go for are different, so it’s kind of a whole new world.”
We can’t wait to see what she does next.