Aislinn’s Story

Aislinn

This website is dedicated to Aislinn Andrews because she is worth it. It is not her life story, it is the story of how she lived and how she approached her battle with the modern scourge that is cancer.  Aislinn was born in Perth but moved to Melbourne to pursue her career in advertising. Wherever she was she touched people with her radiant, easygoing smile.  She made people feel welcome and comfortable around her, and her sphere of friends was ever expanding.

After her primary diagnosis of breast cancer in 2006, she continued working, only taking the bare minimum of time off to go to her chemotherapy and radiotherapy appointments. Most of her colleagues had no idea that she was in ill-health!  After three rounds of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and a radical mastectomy, Aislinn was weakened, underweight, but declared in remission in early 2007. As a reward, her and her partner attended a friend’s wedding in Europe that northern summer.

In late 2007 the news got worse.  Secondary metastases were detected in her lymph nodes and chest. The oncologists told her that they could buy her time with further chemotherapy but they couldn’t cure her.  Aislinn experienced the full range of emotion in facing this: despair, anger, self-pity – but she came out of it with a strong resolve. She quit her job and dedicated herself to researching her options. As a cathartic exercise, she shared her experiences with cancer in her regular contributions to The Big Issue magazine, articles in Frankie magazine, and her blog The Young and the Breastless.

Aislinn

She asked herself the difficult questions, but not in self-pity, rather in search of the causes and the best treatment. “Why did this happen to me?” she asked herself, and her honest response was that, like many modern people, she had worked herself into the ground, often working all night to meet deadlines, and she played hard in her free time. Her busy lifestyle did not give her time to understand the early warning signs of breast cancer and she simply did not believe that she was becoming ill. Aislinn had always swum, rode to work and pursued Yoga once a week; she surfed, snowboarded seasonally and lived an active life. She ate well and was the picture of good health. However, after being diagnosed, she believed that she could do more to improve her health. Now was the time to rectify that. She took up meditation, switched to an organic, vegetarian diet low in sugar, stopped drinking and going out late, and continued swimming and practicing yoga, all in an effort to better prepare her body for fighting cancer.

Aislinn


But her research led her to believe that these changes alone could not kill the existing cancer. She began a bicarbonate soda injection and infusion therapy to try to stall the cancer’s growth and isolate the tumours while she researched her options, and the initial results were positive. After a year of this treatment, in early 2009, her doctors believed that the time was right for surgery to remove the tumours. Aislinn, despite her trepidations about the surgery allowing the cancer to spread through her bloodstream, had the surgery and the follow up treatment. Again, this was declared successful.

She returned home to Melbourne and her strength improved slowly. Aislinn looked to be in good health, but in June, a routine scan showed further metastases. Acknowledging the seriousness of this, she moved back to Perth as she understood she would need a high level of care that only her family could reasonably provide. She added more anti-cancer supplements to her diet, drank vegetable juices, consulted with various doctors and naturopaths, began Vitamin C infusions, tried emotional healing and continued her research. She had decided on the Bill Henderson protocol as her best course of action and we ordered all the supplements and foods for her to start this. Sadly, before all the supplements had arrived Aislinn was admitted to hospital with hypercalcemia.  After being discharged, she tried to regain her strength enough to start the protocol, but she was never able to do so.

Aislinn

While she fought this battle in Perth, her friends in Melbourne organised an art auction, FundrAislinn, to help her with the costs of her ongoing treatment. The night was a magnificent success, but unfortunately Aislinn passed away at home with her family that morning, one day before her 30th birthday. She is remembered with great fondness and enduring love by all her family and friends as a warm, caring soul who brightened the days and nights of all around her. We miss her every day.

This website is part of our way of remembering her but it is also intended to make her research available so that others, facing a diagnosis as imposing as hers, don’t have to start from scratch. If this website can save others the time that Aislinn spent researching, and allow them to start their chosen treatment sooner, then we can feel comfortable that her research was not all in vain.

If you or someone very close to you has had cancer, please complete the brief online survey here and/or leave a comment on the forum page. Please help by letting others benefit from your experiences.

Best wishes & Good Luck,
Aislinn’s Family

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