Published: 13:00, 18 February 2017
Two-and-a-half years after being given less than a year to live, a woman is celebrating the release of her first book.
Sophie Sabbage was diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer in October 2014 after pushing for further tests when she noticed a sharp pain in her back.
She said: “I felt fine, but I went to check and got told I had incurable lung cancer. I just wasn’t expecting it.”
The 50-year-old had tumours in her lymph nodes, bones, spine and brain, as well as a large primary in her lung. Miraculously, within five months, the tumours had gone and the cancer in her lung had reduced by 70%.
Despite this, she is still battling the disease and has found writing about her experiences to be beneficial.
“The first thing I needed to deal with was my fear,” said Mrs Sabbage, of Marden Thorn.
“If you don’t address the fear first, it makes decisions for you.
“I was also grief-stricken – I realised I might not get to raise my daughter and I felt grief for things I hadn’t done in my life.
“I’m not under any illusions, I take each day as a blessing.
“But I want to stay alive as long as I can because I have a child.”
Gabriella, who is now six, was only four when her mother was diagnosed. Mrs Sabbage and her husband John encourage her to ask questions and are completely open with her.
“At one point we thought I might not make her fifth birthday, so we chose to be honest with her,” Mrs Sabbage explained.
A hatred of the language used around the illness inspired her to write The Cancer Whisperer, which was released in paperback at the end of January.
“The book is about what you can learn from cancer,” she said. “It’s about stabilising your body and knowing your purpose.”
Offering a straight-talking account of the first 10 months after diagnosis, the book has had wide-reaching appeal, with a dedicated Facebook page, The Cancer Whisperers, for people to share experiences.
The author said: “I think the best thing about the book is knowing it’s made a difference to people.”
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