Daughter refuses to back down as mum battles rare cancer
As a healthy and active woman Tonianne de Laurence had an "out of body experience" when she was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer.
After visiting the doctors for muscle soreness, Mrs de Laurence noticed considerable swelling in her left hip and was later told she had a 12.5cm long soft tissue sarcoma tumour which had spread to her spine.
The Buderim mother said she was utterly shocked with her life-threatening diagnosis.
"It was quite shocking and overwhelming to hear that it was a cancerous tumour and I've got every likelihood that it could take my life," she said.
"I almost had that out of body experience of this doesn't happen to me this happens to other people."
Being a rare form of cancer with limited research, Mrs de Laurence said her treatment options and prognosis were unknown.
"They weren't too sure if they were going to get control, so the first step was to get some fairly intense radiation on both areas for six weeks and we are waiting to see if it worked," she said.
"If we get in front of it they said we have a 80 per cent chance of having success, but if not, we are not too sure what the prognosis is.
"The unknown factors makes it very hard - you don't know if you have a long time or a short time and you don't know what treatments are going to be given, whether they are going to be invasive or is it just 'sorry we can't help you'."
Mrs de Laurence said she was trying to stay positive until July 21 when she finds out her test results.
"I have tucked the overwhelming stuff away in a box and I don't think about that," she said.
"I want my life to be positive and happy, I don't want it to be sad and worrying about the future, if my time is short then it's short there is nothing I can do about that, so I want to keep what's good and we will deal with whatever has been given to us."
According to the Australia and New Zealand Sarcoma Association website, soft tissue sarcoma is a rare and complex cancer (malignant tumour) arising from the bone, cartilage or soft tissues such as fat, muscle, connective tissue or blood vessels.
Watching her mum lose part of her identity while battling the disease inspired Lucy de Laurence to sacrifice hers, by shaving her head to raise money for the Australia and New Zealand Sarcoma Association.
Ms de Laurence said 100 per cent of the donations would go directly to the charity to aid in furthering research and awareness for soft tissue sarcoma.
"Watching someone you love go through cancer is really hard because you can't do anything you just have to sit on the sidelines and watch, so this was a way for me to feel like I'm helping," she said.
Ms de Laurence has so far raised more than $3000 and will shave her head on July 18, something she said was nerve racking.
"It's such a big part of my identity, I find a lot of my beauty in my hair, so trying to find confidence without that security blanket will be a big thing," she said.
With a new target of $5000 Ms de Laurence said she was incredibly grateful for the support shown by friends, family the community.
"It means a lot, knowing that there are people out there, close friends and even people I barley know that are donating or even sharing my page," she said.
To donate click here.