AM­BER­LEE GOODALL: “I just had to keep go­ing.”

ME - - News -

STORY: EMMA CAR­INCI PIC­TURE: JULIE MERCER mber­lee Goodall has spent most of the day at work but her house is spot­less and she smiles as her daugh­ter Ally, 7, jumps on her lap and smoth­ers her with hugs. Am­ber­lee, now 39, has been back at work for two years af­ter be­ing di­ag­nosed with stage three breast can­cer in 2010. “I did not feel strange and I didn’t feel any pain. I just re­mem­ber think­ing that my breast looked funny’,” Am­ber­lee said. With no fam­ily his­tory of can­cer and feel­ing “fit as a fid­dle”, the di­ag­no­sis came as a com­plete shock to Am­ber­lee as she re­calls leav­ing the doc­tor’s of­fice and al­most col­laps­ing into a heap on the floor. Two weeks af­ter the di­ag­no­sis, Am­ber­lee was sent to Pe­ter MacCal­lum Can­cer Cen­tre for an op­er­a­tion. Chemo­ther­apy and ra­di­a­tion fol­lowed and al­though the chemo­ther­apy “knocked her for six”, Am­ber­lee did not let it get the bet­ter of her. “I thought I would be a recluse af­ter the op­er­a­tion and not want to talk to any­one, but sur­pris­ingly I was the op­po­site. “I just had to keep go­ing. I had my fam­ily and life goes on… you can’t just stop.” Re­main­ing ac­tive and proac­tive, Am­ber­lee re­leased some of the stress and emo­tion through jog­ging and de­cided to shave her hair off as soon as it started to fall out.

A “I was think­ing to my­self ‘Gee, haven’t I gone through enough?’ And then you start to lose your hair!” While she ad­mits it was chal­leng­ing to con­stantly stay pos­i­tive and put on a ‘brave face’, giv­ing up was sim­ply not an op­tion. “The ques­tion you have to ask your­self is ‘Do you want to live?’ At the end of the day, you have a choice.” Am­ber­lee cred­its her hus­band Glenn, chil­dren Ally and Bai­ley, par­ents and friends for be­ing her num­ber one source of strength. How­ever, she also said that in­di­vid­ual willpower and strength were es­sen­tial tools for sur­vival. “No-one can phys­i­cally or men­tally help you pre­pare… oth­ers can sup­port you but when it comes down to it, you have to be will­ing to fight for your­self be­cause it’s the big­gest fight of your life.” With Face­book send­ing us re­minders of how quickly time can pass and how much life can change, Am­ber­lee laughs as she shows a pho­to­graph of the time when her hair was grow­ing back. “It’s true what they say — ‘Chemo curls’ are real!” Am­ber­lee Goodall was given the all-clear at her re­cent five-year check-up. She said she felt awe­some and was re­lieved. Am­ber­lee is look­ing for­ward to cel­e­brat­ing her good news with friends at the


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