Cancer victim Sue inspires sufferers with her new book

Geraldine Gittens

A DUBLIN woman who is terminally ill with cancer has published a book as part of a massive campaign to encourage other cancer patients to think positively through their treatment.

Sue McDermott (45), from Walkinstown, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005, 14 weeks after she got married, and around the same time that her mother-in-law, sister-in-law and father-in-law all passed away.

She has now endured almost four years of gruelling treatment. However, now she has published Thump The Lump, a book of positive stories about cancer to help other cancer patients stay hopeful.

Some 10,000 copies of Thump The Lump are being

distributed for free to St James's hospital -- and eventually other oncology departments in Irish hospitals next year.

Sue told the Herald: "I was diagnosed in 2005, 12 or 14 weeks after I got married. My husband's sister had died from cancer, my husband's dad died of a heart attack at the wedding, and seven months after that his mum died, and then I got cancer." Sue has raised over €30,000 for cancer research and to buy equipment for the oncology department in St James's Hospital, and her book is also being financed through fundraising.

"People just think with cancer, oh you're dead, but it doesn't mean that. Your life is going to change, but it doesn't have to be all bad."


She added: "When I was first diagnosed, I never thought I'd have lovely things in my life. And I was lying in bed after a lovely day with my husband John in the Phoenix Park and I had called to see my sister and her children, and I realised that I've lots of lovely days."

Sue collected 12 stories and reflections from cancer patients she met during her treatment in St James's hospital, and she has created a book which she hopes will help anyone who's coming to terms with a diagnosis.

"I asked one man what positive things have happened to him, and he said, I now hug my children and I tell them I love them.

"He said he used to think that being a good father was making sure the bills are paid and putting food on the table, but now he tells his kids every day that he loves them and he hugs them every day."

She added: "The average life expectancy with what I have is three years, and I'm five years living with it now, and I don't feel that I'm going to die soon. I've beaten the odds, and a positive mental attitude is not going to cure you, but it definitely helps along with lots of laughing and fun."

The book is being launched in St James's Hospital tonight.