Auckland woman determined to survive terminal cancer

Erin Palmer is hoping to change people's perceptions of cancer.
CATRIN OWEN/ FAIRFAX NZ

Erin Palmer is hoping to change people's perceptions of cancer.

Thirty-year-old Erin Palmer has been given a terminal cancer diagnosis but she's determined not to give in. 

Two years ago she moved back to Auckland from Sydney and fell ill a month later.

She rushed to Auckland City Hospital thinking it was appendicitis.

Erin Palmer doesn't know how long she'll live but continues to have a positive outlook on life.
CATRIN OWEN/FAIRFAX NZ

Erin Palmer doesn't know how long she'll live but continues to have a positive outlook on life.

But after surgery to remove her appendix she was back in hospital a few days later.

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"I was in so much pain and when I lay down it looked like there was half a tennis ball poking out, but there was no way I thought it was cancer," she says.

She was diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer and had surgery to remove half of her large intestine and some of her small intestine.

Palmer, who works in advertising and was a personal trainer and nutrition coach, was discontinued from chemotherapy by her oncologist due to the severity of her side effects. 

"I only managed to do three cycles out of 24."

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At her one-year follow-up scan she was told she was in remission. But 20 weeks later she was in hospital again.

In November 2015, Palmer went in for diagnostic surgery looking for endometriosis but the cancer was back and had spread.

"You could see from pictures the severity of it, it was all over my uterus, my bladder, my ovaries, my bowel and my abdominal cavity." she says.

This time surgery is deemed too risky. 

She began chemotherapy again on January 4 however her body was unable to metabolise it. Palmer has made the tough decision to stop chemotherapy with her oncologist in agreement.

She has turned to holistic treatments such as vitamin C therapy, ozone therapy, yoga and meditation.

"It's never going to stop now, this is my life. I've got incurable cancer."

Palmer has set up a Givealittle page to help fund her treatment and is not sure how long much longer she'll be able to keep working part-time. 

She's determined to be a miracle case.

"In my mind I've got years, I'm determined to go into remission and prove the doctors wrong, I'm not going to die from cancer."

She started a page on Facebook called The Rainbow Lining to keep her family and close friends updated but it has now become a place where she can share her thoughts.

"It's not to bring awareness to cancer, it's to change people's perspectives of cancer."

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 - Stuff

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