AN APOLLO BAY woman with terminal cancer says she has accepted her diagnosis and is now focusing on pursuing her dreams.
June Dunlop said she was devastated and felt numb when doctors diagnosed her with gall bladder cancer six months ago.
June said she didn’t want to accept it at first and didn’t want to die; she felt too young.
But she is now grateful for her life with her family and son, John Hardie.
“I felt like I had more to give and achieve, that I hadn’t done,” she said.
The 66-year-old said that once she accepted her diagnosis, she had been able to better enjoy her time and set out to achieve lifelong goals.
“I see things differently, I think differently, I am more compassionate about living with cancer,” she said.
“Living with cancer is a private journey but it’s one that you have to come to accept.
“I’ve come to accept it; I have got a new journey now, I have still got a purpose.”
June knocked off one item on her to-do list yesterday when she recorded John Lennon’s famous song Imagine with her sister and her niece.
“I wanted to record a song with my sister and niece because when I am not here they can still have part of me, I love music, I love this song because it has a message of peace,” she said.
“It makes me feel accomplished because I am doing what I set out to do, life is too short.
“You should tell people you love them every day and put your arms around them, tell the person you are with that you love them.”
June said she also planned to get a tattoo designed by her great-niece, go on a Harley Davidson ride along the Great Ocean Road and become a Buddhist.
She said she started following Buddhism about 17 years ago when she was battling breast cancer and a nurse introduced her to it.
June said she had always liked the “spirituality” of Buddhism and she would officially convert to the religion during a garden ceremony with her Buddhist chaplain Hojun.
She said it was important for her to complete the list before she died because it was her “destiny”.
“I didn’t do this before, I was living the day-to-day life and put at the back burner my true desires and calling,” June said.
“I’ve come to accept it; I don’t know how long my journey will be, but I am grateful for every day.
“The birds in the garden in the morning, the flowers in the garden, life is beautiful.”