Veteran TV star Cornelia Frances has candidly revealed that she has been diagnosed with cancer.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, the actress confirmed: “I discovered I had bladder cancer. This then spread to my hip bone which fractured, and then I almost died from loss of blood due to an ulcer in my throat. Despite all this, I am still here, as the old song goes.”
The former Sons and Daughters actress told the publication that she found out about her cancer 12 months ago and has been fighting strong ever since.
Frances also mentioned that the support of her son, Lawrence, and her medical team helped her continue to push through this difficult experience.
“When I got the ulcer in my throat, I did truly believe that this time my luck had finally run out,” Frances said.
The actress was bleeding so heavily from the ulcer during surgery that things were touch and go.
“I was a total mess according to my surgeon. He told me he didn’t believe they could get me back from the brink but somehow they did,” she said.
In a bizarre and ironic twist of fate, Frances, 76, received the news of her cancer at Royal North Shore Hospital, which was used as the set for the fictional Albert Memorial Hospital in Young Doctors - one of the dramas she once worked on.
“I was told that I did indeed have cancer and it had metastasised to my pelvic bone. I just froze as I heard that word, and thought: Oh please God, I know I haven’t been a practising Catholic for many years but I am still a believer, help me.”
Frances' son made sure his mother was comfortable in the hospital and often sneaked in McDonald’s and chocolate bars into his mother’s hospital room to help keep her spirits up!
“(But) with the way hospital food can taste, it was a Godsend,” she said.
Frances confirmed she still isn't in remission but hopes to be better this year and even revealed she was open to returning to Home and Away as Ray “Alf” Meagher’s evil sister Morag.
“I would dearly love to go back to Summer Bay but haven’t heard anything as yet,” she said.