Anna died from breast cancer. She has a message for us
During her final days, the 51-year-old mother of three shared her pain and joy
Anna Corry’s story seems like many others: a 51-year-old, a wife (married to Martin), a mother to three boys – Michael (17), Dominic (14) and Andrew (11) – a nurse and a church-going Christian. Anna also passed away due to cancer, on March 29.
But what might make an ordinary life extraordinary is Anna’s final months of life.
Anna had many crosses to bear. The first was that she suffered terrible pain in her chest. She went to get it checked but due to misdiagnosis, she would continue to suffer immensely.
Chapter 1: Misdiagnosis
To be misdiagnosed and then to find she had one of the most aggressive forms of cancer was hard to take. Anna didn’t think she had a chance after hearing the initial diagnosis. But another doctor gave her some hope after referring her for chemotherapy which then could lead to radiotherapy …
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Chapter 2: Diagnosis and Treatment
After a heavy dosage of chemotherapy for a few weeks and many prayers, the tumour shrunk from 10 centimetres to 2 centimetres. But it was decided that Anna would have to do another 12 weeks of chemotherapy. It was another painful episode and her worst fears came true …
Chapter 3: ‘I want to die’ and Palliative Care
Given 12 months to live and as the cancer spread, her pain couldn’t be managed at home. It was too intense. She wished she could simply die. But after making the decision to move to a palliative care hospice – Neringah Hospital (run by HammondCare, in the northern suburbs of Sydney) – her life changed dramatically …
Chapter 4: Spiritual Lessons and Finding Peace Before Death
During her time in palliative care, Anna prayed with and was visited by so many people that one of the nurses who had spent years at the hospice commented that she had never seen so many people come to visit one person. She also thanked Anna’s family and said their experience with her had helped them see the tremendous value in their work.
After overcoming her physical anguish through palliative care, Anna was then able to overcome her mental, emotional, moral and spiritual pain. She was incredibly joyful and peaceful in her final weeks. She said they were some of the best days of her life.
Anna died peacefully on 29 March, 2018, surrounded by close family and friends.