I love this story. Tucked away amongst all the grot in the Daily Mail, I spotted a gem of a feelgood story about a mum of two called Lisa Russell, who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at 34. Told by the doctors that she probably wouldn’t live longer than 18 months, because the type of cancer she had only had a 6% survival rate, she decided to live every day she had left as if it were her last, and do all the things she wanted to do with her family.
She wasn’t daft – she took the chemo, but she also married her long-term partner and took the family on trips to Bulgaria, Lanzarote and Turkey, determined that she was going to leave her kids with great memories of their mum. The family blew pretty much all of their life savings on having a damn good time and made every bit of Lisa’s remaining life count. Chloe and Georgina. Lisa’s daughters, must have had an amazing time, although it would have been tinged with a sadness at the idea of their mum not being around much longer.
Lisa even wrote letters for her daughters to read after she’d died, and was prepared for dying, even though she says she didn’t feel ill, except when she was having the chemo. She passed the 18 month deadline, but the family carried on with days out, meals with friends and enjoying themselves until April 2012. After regular three month check-ups which had all said the same “You have cancer – you’re going to die” a routine biopsy showed that the tumour had shrunk so much that they could no longer see it. Result!
Lisa said, “I can’t believe how lucky I am. I was just laughing and said to my husband, ‘Thank goodness we still have a few quid left, because I’m not dying.”
I think that’s the best story I’ve read in a long time. Just imagine, not only is she now cancer free, but she’s had the most amazing three years. It made me think – why do people wait until they get a death sentence to live every day as if it were their last? Imagine the fun you could have if you set out to make the most of EVERY day. Even Mondays. Even rainy Mondays. And even rainy Mondays, just after Christmas when you have no money to buy chocolate…
Here’s the link if you want to read the full story. (WARNING: It’s a DM story so you might have to pretend you can’t see all the other miserable stuff)