Unfortunately, Olivia’s cancer has returned for a third time.
The first diagnosis was her breast cancer in 1992.
Then, five years ago, cancer was discovered in her shoulder. And she's kept that secret from almost everyone. Now she has a tumour at the base of her spine, cancer in her back but she says she’s not scared.
“I don't go there. I mean, I'd be lying if I said I never go there. There are moments. I'm human,” she says.
“So, if I allow myself to go there, I could easily create that, you know, big fear. But, um, my husband's always there, and he's always there to support me, and I believe I will... I will win over it, and that's my goal,” Olivia found a lump in her right breast in 1992.
She had a mastectomy and underwent nine months of debilitating chemo to kill the cancer cells. “The first time was a big shock for all of us,” Olivia said. But Olivia’s battle was not over.
On a drive to visit her sister Rona just before she died of brain cancer, Olivia was in a car accident. “And the seat belt hit me really hard. And a lump came up, and I went to see the doctor.
And we thought it was something to do with the accident, so, anyway, time went on more than that,” Olivia reveals. It turned out the lump in her right shoulder was the return of the breast cancer she thought she'd beaten 21 years earlier.
Unlike the first time, Olivia chose to keep this cancer discovery secret.
“You know, the first time I talked about it...and the second time I thought, to share this. share with people.
"It's my life," and I just decided to keep it to myself,” she adds.
In 2013, after her breast cancer returned, she was treated with conventional medicines and natural therapies to boost her immune system.
The tumour in her shoulder got smaller, but unbeknown to Olivia, the cancer was still spreading. Last year, a third cancer tumour was found in her lower back.
“A lot of people see it as a fight, and that's however you choose to see it, that's your prerogative. I see it as part of my mission.
“I'm still treating it, and I'm treating it naturally and doing really well, yeah,” Olivia adds.
Olivia says she is treating her disease with a healthier diet. She's cut sugar out completely, which has caused her to lose a lot of weight and she's undergone radiation treatments and is also taking cannabis oil for the pain.
“A lot of cannabis my husband grows for me.
In California, it's legal to grow a certain amount of plants for your own medicinal purposes.
So he makes me tinctures. Tinctures. It's hard to say. they help with pain. They help with sleep. And, um, so I'm very lucky that I live in a state where it's legal and that I have a husband that is a plant-medicine man,” she says.
“You know, how lucky is that? Yeah. My dream is that, in Australia soon, it will be available to all the cancer patients and people going through cancer that causes pain. “There are other people out there doing much, much worse than me. And, um, I'm a very privileged person, and I'm very aware of that. I live in this beautiful place,” Olivia is a fighter and remains incredibly positive about her fate.
“I have a wonderful husband. I have all the animals that I adore. I have an incredible career. I have nothing, really, to complain about,” Olivia adds.
This article originally appeared on New Idea.