After putting up an incredible fight for seven years, breast cancer patient Connie Johnson says she is “terrified” to finally come to terms with her death.
The sister of Gold-Logie winning actor Samuel Johnson decided to stop treatment entirely after cancer spread to her liver and her quality of life rapidly deteriorated.
The mother of Willoughby, 10 and Hamilton, nine, shared her heartbreaking story in an interview with Carrie Bickmore on The Project last night.
“My life was so unpleasant. I spent a lot of the time that I was awake crying and holed up in my room, not even able to come out and see the kids because I don’t want them seeing me like this,” she said.
Johnson called a meeting with her medical team and psychologists, expecting them to outline the next line of treatment options.
“But what actually happened in that meeting was that they told me I couldn’t continue on the chemo because my organs are all struggling too much," she explained, choking back tears.
Once the chemotherapy stops, her cancer will progress further, eventually leading to liver failure. Asked if she was scared of dying, Connie replied with tears: "terrified".
“It’s very different for me than it is for my loved ones. We will all die and we will all face that and it is terrifying for everybody,” she said.
“I have this thought that comes into my head all the time where one day I'll be holding the children's hands and then I'll be gone.
"My pain will be over and there's will just be beginning.”
Johnson’s brother admitted accepting his sister’s condition was "pretty shit".
"You don’t want it to ever get to that point but she's been on various chemos for 11 years of her life," he said.
Although Johnson is stopping treatment, she is continuing her crusade to raise funds for cancer research.
Today she helped raise more than $1 million in Canberra through the initiative, the Big Heart Project, where participants contributed five cent pieces to form the shape of a heart.
You can support The Big Heart Project here: loveyoursister.org/connies-big-heart-project