Mum's defiant cancer battle

A COURAGEOUS mother of eight is determined to set up her new business - despite battling against an aggressive form of cancer.

A COURAGEOUS mother of eight is determined to set up her new business - despite battling against an aggressive form of cancer.

Joanna Dearing was 17 weeks pregnant when she first discovered a lump on her right breast around 18 months ago.

Just six weeks later the 42-year-old from Wickham Market was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.

Although that tumour was removed, tests by doctors at Ipswich Hospital showed the disease had spread to her spine and into her lungs and that it was incurable.

All the while Mrs Dearing and her husband Robin were preparing to launch their new sandwich shop, Sunny Daze, in Saxmundham.

Their sandwich shop - Sunny Daze in Chantry Road, Saxmundham - opened its doors last week but Mrs Dearing's illness has meant that her husband has had to shoulder a lot of the burden.

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Along with two friends the 29-year-old has given the store a complete makeover costing between �7,000 and �8,000.

“It was a big job - we weren't able to just to move in start straight away,” Mrs Dearing said.

The day before she was told about the cancer in her spine the couple, who have been married for four years, had also just picked up the keys to their new home in Broad Road.

“It's been quite a busy few months,” Mrs Dearing said. “I had to wait until I was 27 weeks pregnant until the first lump could be removed.

“Within four weeks another two tumours had returned in the same breast and I had to be induced to give birth early so I could have chemotherapy.”

Mrs Dearing gave birth to Lucie-Mae, who weighed 5lbs11oz, on June 7 last year and began her gruelling treatment ten days later.

“By that stage I had a tumour about the size of half a tennis ball,” Mrs Dearing said.

But Mrs Dearing is refusing to let the disease beat her and is remaining positive - drawing on the support given to her by the rest of her family.

“It's terrifying when they tell you that you've got cancer because your first thoughts are that you are going to die,” she said. “But I've always been quite strong. With eight children it has been tough but in another way it has made me cope better.”

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