Mel O'Neill from Penketh was diagnosed with breast cancer a decade ago and writes a regular blog for the Warrington Guardian

“Your oncologist says there’s no point in giving you chemo at the moment because you’re in remission.” The receptionist nonchalantly told me after speaking to him minutes earlier on the phone.

After being told by a registrar I was to continue with a break from chemo until the end of January to let the ulcers in my mouth heal and my eyes recover, I was aware that this appointment had been cancelled but still needed to have my bloods taken as I was told I still needed the anti-cancer drug Herceptin in the private ward, but mistakenly he had cancelled both, hence the phone call.

After losing all my hair, been burdened yet again with excrutiatingly painful mouth ulcers, lymphedema in my right arm and an irritating eye condition, the cancer had finally gone to sleep.

Common sense tells me I should have known this as there are no visible signs or itching going on in my skin telling me the cancer is not active but hearing this from the man that has my life in his hands, I wept.

Immediately I telephoned my husband, then my mum and dad along with my in-laws before doing a short vlog trying hard to play it down knowing I had a scan due in the next few days.

Receiving a barrage of well wishing, supportive comments, I cried more upon reading them and the Nutritional Healing pamphlet I had taken to read, fell by the wayside as I was glued to my phone reading all my lovely, kind messages I was overwhelmed in receiving.

What a wonderful, warm feeling I had brightening so many people’s day, sharing my great news with others and giving hope to many. I am under no illusion that it has gone for good but I am taking every day as it comes currently with my load being so much lighter, I have found myself uncontrollably laughing so hard I can barely breathe every day since hearing this, often at things that aren’t even that funny.

I could be told next week that my scan is no longer clear but I will forever remember feeling so much brighter even if only for two weeks. I pray it will be for a lot longer.

Having no active cancer for nine months whilst on my clinical trial over four years ago, I was convinced I was cured even when the doctors insisted I wasn’t and that it would eventually come back.

I refused to believe them as I sunk to an all-time low when the redness reappeared in my skin and my arm began to swell.

However, this time I have heard it from the horse’s mouth, (well indirectly anyway) as the receptionist relayed his words.

Remaining on Herceptin I will continue to visit the Christie Hospital on a three weekly basis, more when I am booked in for a scan or my oncologist needs to see me but my weekly visits have been put on hold allowing me time off especially from my cancer worries which have burdened me for 10 long years.

Only weeks ago my thoughts were filled with how many more Christmases I’d get to see but now I’m just enjoying every day as it comes, even if we are in a lockdown.

People are feeling understandably deprived of their freedom and normality being in tier 4 but I’ve endured for 10 years deprivation of my freedom and normality and being controlled by cancer with its hospital appointments, treatment commitments and more recently the cost which I will be funding myself as my kind donations come to an end.

Herceptin will be keeping the cancer at bay while I enjoy this new found freedom, therefore it is without a doubt, worth every penny to me and my family. Happy New Year.

Please feel free to follow me on Facebook or Instagram as Sassy_ibcer.

Donations can be made by clicking this link