Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Mandy Flett shares her cancer survival story

Almost 15 years since being told a brain tumour would kill her, Mandy Flett has just seen her daughter complete year 12.

KATHLEEN TONINI November 13, 2012 4:29am

Molly Flett (left) and her mum Mandy, who had brain cancer a number of years ago.

When Mandy Flett was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour, her daughter Molly was just four.

Despite being told the cancer would kill her, nearly 15 years later Mandy has lived to see her daughter complete year 12 this year.

Back then, Mandy was a mother of two young childrenMolly, then 4, and Lewis, 18 monthswhen she went to the doctor after experiencing severe headaches.

The young family had just finished renovating its Echuca home.

A CT scan soon revealed an abnormality on her brain, and she was sent to Melbourne for surgery soon afterwards.

After the surgery it was established the tumour was malignant.

‘‘Through my tears I asked him (the oncologist) if it would kill me and he said eventually it will,’’ Mandy said.

Mandy then started six weeks of radiation therapy at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

Afterwards she started attending sessions at the Gawler Foundation, a healing centre which focuses on an integrated approach to health.

For 12 weeks, she did meditation, changed her diet and learnt to think positively about her diagnosis.

Mandy maintains she never thought she was going to die.

‘‘I think it was my positive attitude, I wanted to (live to) see my grandkids,’’ she said.

However, within 12 months of her initial diagnosis, the cancer came back.

Mandy had surgery again and endured 12 months of chemotherapy.

While she was getting treatment, her parents and her husband Michael’s parents travelled came to Echuca to help look after the children.

Nearly 15 years after the course of chemotherapy, Mandy is still cancer free.

She still has an MRI every six months to monitor her health and still suffers from some short-term memory loss.

She also still bears the physical scars of radiation therapy, her hair has never grown back in some patches of her scalp.

‘‘For a start I was angry, I thought that I was a good person and...I thought, ‘why did it happen to me?’,’’ Mandy said.

‘‘Apart from that it’s just fine, you sort of just put your feelings aside.’’

‘‘I’ve got two beautiful kids and a loving husband.’’

Mandy said her illness was not a secret.

‘‘If it will help someone else, I don’t mind talking about it.’’

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