‘Can’t live like this’: Terminal cancer inspires bucket list
Fighting an aggressive form of cancer left Issy Lascelles 67kg overweight and unable to live her unknown number of days to the fullest.
Being desperate to make the most of her time left pushed the then 19-year-old to reclaim her life and now she hopes she can inspire others to do the same.
Ms Lascelles was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin's lymphoma at the age of 18 while on a European holiday in 2017 and after chemotherapy failed her diagnosis was upgraded to terminal in 2019.
As a "12-foot tall and bullet proof" teenager leaving school with limitless possibilities Ms Lascelles said her diagnosis brought her quickly back down to earth.
"Hearing I had terminal cancer was rough and … I really did struggle, but it is what it is, and I can't change that," she said.
"So instead of my focus being on buying a house or getting a car or getting a job it's more putting my time and energy into experiences doing things that will create memories because when everything is looking a bit miserable they are the things you go to.
"My diagnosis has made my life better in a way, it has made me value my life."
After her first round of chemotherapy Ms Lascelles put on 67kg in 11 weeks and was left unable to fulfil her desire to travel.
"At school I was always the chubby kid and it didn't really faze me, and I didn't really care to do much about it, but after putting on weight from all the steroids and medicines I said 'I can't live like this'," she said.
"It was hindering what I want to do, getting on a plane is uncomfortable, going on a road trip is uncomfortable and I want to go do those things, so I made a choice after chemo that I was going to be as healthy as possible … and lost 35kg."
With her terminal illness in mind the Woombye resident decided to undergo a sleeve gastrectomy to speed up her weightless journey but was met with conflicting opinions.
Having already started a YouTube channel to share her health battles Ms Lascelles decided to share her weightless process to help empower others to have the confidence to take control of their life.
"A lot of people said to me that having the surgery was really reckless and silly and doing it on my own would be safer and others thought I gave up on losing the weight on my own, but not knowing how much time I have I didn't want to spend seven years trying to lose weight," she said.
"Sharing my story is in a way trying to empower other people to go it doesn't matter if it's your choice you find a way to do that and being confident and comfortable with your own choices."
Ms Lascelles is planning on ticking off a major bucket list item at the beginning of 2021 by travelling around Australia.
Watch Ms Lascelles tick off her bucket list and learn more about her journey here.