Chemo and a double mastectomy not enough to keep Wendy down

SURVIVOR: Mooloolaba’s Wendy Barnes has beaten cancer twice and hopes her story will inspire others to keep fighting.
SURVIVOR: Mooloolaba’s Wendy Barnes has beaten cancer twice and hopes her story will inspire others to keep fighting. Kristy Muir

THERE is life after cancer says two-time survivor Wendy Barnes.

Despite having undergone chemotherapy and a double mastectomy, the 50-year-old Mooloolaba woman says she is a better person for having had the disease.

The mother of three has spent the past two years since being re-diagnosed with breast cancer getting back to full health.

Now she is "fighting fit" and ready to tick a major item off her bucket list.

Next month she is headed to China to fulfil her dream of walking part of the Great Wall of China with her husband, Trevor, and three kids.

Around the time Wendy found the original lump in her breast, when she was 43, Olivia Newton-John was shown on TV walking part of the wall for charity.

Dreaming of what it would be like to do such a trip helped Wendy through her chemotherapy and lumpectomy and kept her hopeful for the future.

But Wendy's re-diagnosis in 2013 meant she once again had the battle for life on her hands.

She underwent a double mastectomy and six rounds of chemotherapy, but this only renewed her passion for life and achieving all her goals, including walking on the Great Wall of China.

"I knew I wanted to walk the wall for my 50th and I will be," she said.

Wendy had her most recent check-up in June and got the all-clear.

She will, however, need to have regular check-ups until she reaches the five-year mark. Next year will mark the "big three-year check-up", which will involve CT scans, an MRI and ultrasound.

"Now I have got rid of my boobs I am going to be fine," she said.

"I wish I had just had a double mastectomy when I was first diagnosed.

"I feel fantastic now and I am living life. I don't think about the past - I look forward to the future.

"When I see people with scarves and bald heads I just smile at them and think to myself 'poor things', because I know what they are going through."

Cancer has touched Wendy's life again, with her mum being diagnosed with breast cancer. Their cancers are said to be not genetically related.

Wendy said there was still a lot of fight left in her and she wanted everyone who was battling cancer to keep fighting too.

Wendy's tips

  • Stay positive
  • Live day-by-day
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help and take it when it is offered
  • Put yourself first

Topics:  cancer chemotherapy editors picks mastectomy

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