A Perth cancer patient with only a few days left wrote a poignant open letter to her younger self asking her to prioritize the important things in life.
7NEWS reports that lawyer and athlete Ruth Hunt was first diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer at the age of 34.
Despite chemotherapy and remission, the cancer returned and she was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer at the age of 37.
She joined the Australian Army in 2016 and has since participated in countless sporting events.
A talented swimmer and rower, Ms. Hunt won five gold medals in the trials of the United States Air Force Warrior Games in Las Vegas, despite having finished chemotherapy only two weeks earlier.
She also attended the Invictus Games in Sydney in 2018, which featured founders Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.
In the heartbreaking letter, Captain Hunt wrote how she would learn “lessons for life” from her initial diagnosis.
“Dear me, you don’t know this yet, but you are going to have a tough few years in the future – much sooner than you might expect,” she wrote.
“Don’t worry – as rough as it gets, it turns out that you are a lot tougher than you thought and have a lot more support than you can imagine.
“Getting cancer at 34 will teach you a few lessons.”
Captain Hunt went on to explain how one day she would meet Prince Harry at the Invictus Games and become a lawyer and army officer, travel the world and meet her husband Lt. Col. Andy Love.
But she shared how her devastating diagnosis would affect the life she was enjoying.
“Cancer sucks. The first time it’s not the end of the world. The second time a pill is harder to swallow, but it’s not the end of the world, ”she wrote.
“However, it will be the end of you in this world – a little prematurely.”
She lists six lessons she learned in her 37 years and things she would have liked to know when she was younger.
This includes taking every opportunity to travel, knowing that one day she would not be able to, and appreciating family time.
“Cancer will teach you that family is everything. They will sit next to you on the chemo station, fly across Australia just to be with you, sending you care packages and flowers. They won’t be work colleagues, ”she wrote.
She also encourages her younger selves to ask more for help, be less stressful, and make time for sickness when enjoying some time with her dog.
It is important that she writes: “It is okay to say no.”
“Cancer will teach you that many people have long taken advantage of your generosity and kindness. The sooner you learn to say no, the better, ”she wrote.
See the full letter at 7NEWS.
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