In June 2017, Esther Clemens was booked in for a regular GP visit that ended at the hospital where they found fluid build-up in her lungs. The results of the required hospital tests proved bad news, Esther had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
In 1972, she and her husband George moved from Scotland to chase dreams in Australia and continued to live the life they loved. 9 years ago, George passed away and Esther decided to move to Sefton, a suburb in Sydney’s west. She filled her time at the local embroidery club and kept busy, finding out she had ovarian cancer was simply not something she ever expected.
“I hadn’t been sick my whole life, so to be told I had cancer, I thought ‘you’ve got the wrong person!’ I had no symptoms and felt fit, but when I accepted that I had cancer, I just had to get on with it,” Esther said.
She went on to receive chemotherapy at Icon Cancer Centre Revesby, where she felt supported and in a way filled her life with more joy.
“From the minute I walked through the door, I felt a warmth, a welcome. During my treatment I made a valuable friend. Kay and I had the same appointments each day, so we got to know each other and we even finished treatment on the same day! She has been a real support and I continue to catch-up with her.”
During treatment, Esther made the decision to keep to herself and not attend her regular social outings. This was a personal choice she felt was the right decision for her.
“I wanted to put my life on hold for a while. I didn’t want constant visitors and I wanted to put myself first. That meant concentrating on my treatment and keeping healthy the way I needed to.”
She has now finished her chemotherapy and continues to attend regular check-ups. Esther has gone back to her Embroidery Guild meetings and is enjoying having friends over for tea and a chat and looking after her lorikeet, Charles.