Joanita Wibowo

"I survived my own funeral": Woman shares miracle story

"I survived my own funeral": Woman shares miracle story

A woman has shared her story of surviving cancer after being told she only had “months, not years” to live.

Advertising professional and English woman Amanda McDonald was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in 2013. Eighteen months into the treatment, when McDonald thought she was heading for recovery, the doctors revealed the terrible news that the cancer had spread to her brain.

She underwent surgeries and radiotherapy to remove the tumour, but they could not stave off the return of the cancer.

“In October 2015, I was told I was dying,” McDonald told the Guardian. “I was 42. The doctors said there was no more they could do for me.”

With mortality looming close, McDonald decided to organise her own funeral to spend time with her friends and family for one last time.

A party was held in an upscale restaurant for 250 guests, including friends, colleagues, clients and family. Her mother “couldn’t bear the thought of coming”, but her father and husband were present.

“I wanted to celebrate my life with the people I Ioved the most,” McDonald told Yahoo7 News.

“I knew I was going to die soon and wanted to say goodbye properly. At your actual funeral you don’t get the chance to do that.”

The funeral was a success, with the guests writing down their favourite memories and giving eulogies about what McDonald meant to them.

“The day after ‘the funeral’ I woke up and thought: ‘That was the high and now I’ll fade away’,” she said.

She proceeded to cease her treatment and continue living normal, everyday life with her husband Dean, trying to stay on as long as possible.

Miraculously, the tumour did not grow back as expected.

“Day by day, I began to start living a normal life again, although I was plagued by fears that I was going to die,” she said.

About five years after her original diagnosis, McDonald is now cancer-free. Her oncologist said her survival was a rare case that happened only to one other patient in his 28-year career, while her palliative care nurse simply called her the “miracle lady”.

McDonald has changed her life since she was cured. “I treasure the people I love more,” she said. “I don’t work long hours and travel all the time. I still work for them in a support role part time and work from home. 

“When you’ve looked death in the face and you are somehow allowed to step back, you are just overwhelmed with gratitude.”