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