Leah Bracknell has given a powerful interview about her cancer diagnosis and how she has lived 16 months longer than doctors expected.
The actress was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in 2016, and was told she had just eight months to live.
Leah shared an inspiring update as she marked two years since being diagnosed with the disease, and spoke about how the celebration isn’t a champagne moment, but more of a feeling of relief.
The 54-year-old also shared a powerful message, saying she ‘is not a survivor but is a thriver’.
She wrote: “I have just passed the two-year mark from the day on which I received a diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer.
“The celebration is muted, one of relief rather than champagne and fireworks. But it is without doubt the most positive news to come my way in almost a year.
“The writing on the wall two years ago was very different given that the statistics, as out of date as they are for stage 4 lung cancer, predict a frighteningly brief median survival time of 8 months.
“When one’s mere existence, the taking of another breath and the walking of another step are such substantial achievements the sense of gratitude is overwhelming and I thank not only all of those who have played a part in my healing journey, but my very lucky stars on high.”
Leah also questioned how she had managed to outlive the expectancy she was given, saying that survival relates to statistics and time but thriving is about quality of life.
She said: “How, I ask, am I still here? How have I managed to surpass my expiry date? Am I a survivor? No, I am much more than that, I am a cancer thriver. Survival relates to statistics and time. Thriving is all about quality of life.”
Leah has also been taking part in drug trials, and her cancer is now described as ‘stable’.
In the message, Leah explained what the change of status means to her. She said it ‘simply means hope’ but she is constantly anxious about the ‘rug being pulled from her feet’.
As well as drug trials, Leah revealed in a blog post that she had been using cannabis oil high in THC medicinally from the day she left hospital two years ago.
Medicinal cannabis is set to be available on prescription in the UK within the next month, helping thousands of people suffering from chronic pain.
Experts are predicting that around 10,000 people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) will also benefit from the government’s move.
As it stands, cannabis oil is only ever prescribed in ‘exceptional circumstances’, and always has to be granted by a medical panel.