Cancer stories

Read stories from people who have been affected by cancer, as they talk about their experiences, the challenges they face, and how they have coped.

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Agnes’s story

It was over 20 years ago after my first diagnosis, when the doctors discovered active cancer cells throughout my body, including my lymph nodes and lungs. I had an operation to try to remove cancer from my lungs, but it was too advanced and they couldn’t get it all.

The doctors told me that the cancer was terminal and I had six months left to live. But that was more than 10 years ago, and I’m still here. I feel like I have had cancer for a lifetime: 29 years.

I only found out about palliative care a few years ago. For me, this made such a positive difference – I now have equipment such as a walking frame, wheelchair, shower seat and toilet seat.

My palliative care nurses visit me at home twice a week and also call a lot to check on me.

I have been in hospital many times, but I have been able to stay at home as much as my health has allowed. Being near my family is the most important thing to me.

The love I have for my children, and the desire to see them grow up, marry and have kids of their own, has kept me going. I credit them as the reason I’ve lived with advanced cancer for so long.

My advice for someone with advanced cancer is to be strong. Don’t be afraid – what will be, will be. Have friends and family around to help provide the support you need. Get all the help you can from government and palliative care services.

You need the will, guts and knowledge to make the most of your time. To me, advanced cancer is just a sickness. I don’t feel that I’m going to die today. I just take each day as it is, and try to maintain a strong will to live.

Isabella’s story

My husband, Louis, and I were very anxious when he was diagnosed with cancer.

I took on the tasks at home that Louis was unable to do – such as lawn mowing and feeding the animals. I also arranged appointments and checked details with the treating team.

I was grateful I could contact the cancer care coordinator at the radiation therapy centre when I had questions or when I was finding it difficult to cope.

I joined a tai chi class organised through the Carers Association and also attended their support workshops and relaxation sessions. I found the encouragement from other carers gave me the confidence boost I needed.

The support of the hospital social worker was invaluable and reduced many of the day-to-day tasks and concerns I had, and allowed Louis and I to spend more quality time together.

Click on the icon below to download a PDF booklet on living with advanced cancer.

Printed copies are available for free - Call 13 11 20 to order

Instructions for downloading and reading EPUB files

Apple devices

The iBooks application must be installed on your Apple device before you can read the EPUB.
Different ways to download an EPUB file to your Apple device:

  • email EPUB files to yourself and transfer the attachment to iBooks.
  • copy EPUB files into DropBox (or a similar service) and use the DropBox app to send them to iBooks.
  • open EPUB files directly from Mobile Safari and open them in iBooks, where they are saved automatically by downloading the EPUB from the website.

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To download an EPUB file to your Kobo from a Windows computer:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • select “Open folder to view files” to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

To download an EPUB to your Kobo from a Mac:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • open your “Finder” application.
  • select “Kobo eReader” from the listed devices to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, probably in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

Turn on your Kobo and your EPUB will be located in “eBooks”, while a PDF will be located in “Documents”.
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Sony Reader

To download an EPUB file on your Sony Reader™:

  • ensure you have already installed the Reader™ Library for PC/Mac software
  • select the eBook you want from our website and click the link to download it.
  • connect the Reader™ to your computer.
  • open the Reader™ Library software and click “Library” in the left-hand pane and select the eBook to view it.

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Amazon Kindle 2nd Generation devices

EPUB files can’t be read on the Amazon Kindle™. However, like most eReaders, Kindle™ 2nd Generation devices are able to display PDFs. We recommend that you download the PDF version of this booklet if you would like to read it on a Kindle™.
To transfer a PDF to your Kindle™ via USB cable from your computer or Mac:

  • download the PDF directly onto your computer.
  • connect the USB cable to your computer’s USB port, and the micro USB end of the cable to your Kindle™. Note: the Kindle™ won’t be available as a reading device while it is connected to your computer until it has been disconnected.
  • open the Kindle™ drive and several folders will appear inside. The “Documents” folder is where you will need to copy or drag the PDF to.
  • safely eject your Kindle™ from your computer and unplug the USB cable. Your content will appear on the Home Screen.

Kindle also provides a Kindle Personal Documents Service that allows users to send documents as an attachment directly to your eReader. For more information on this service, visit
For more information on accessing a PDF on your Kindle™, visit, log in to your account and click on Personal Document Settings.
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Android and PC

You can also download and open eBooks on Android devices and PCs with appropriate apps or software installed. Suitable eReader apps for Android include Google Play Books, FBReader and Moon+ Reader. Suitable software for PCs include Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions.

This information was last reviewed in December 2016
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Cancer information

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