DEB Lindley did not hear the doctor finish the sentence that delivered the devastating diagnosis.
"After 'very aggressive' I didn't hear any more," she said, remembering the day she learned the insidious nature of the golf-ball sized lump in her groin.
The words that followed were "metastatic malignant melanoma".
They spelled heartbreak for the 59-year-old Capricorn Coast woman, who had undergone radical surgery 30 years ago earlier after another cancer diagnosis.
Deb left the doctors' surgery shocked and shaken.
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She went to her next work appointment where, on explaining her situation to a client, he suggested she consider researching soursop, a fruit promoted as an alternative cancer treatment.
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She was trawling the internet for information when she stumbled on an article about "pawpaw brew", a drink derived from the leaves of the pawpaw tree that is purported to be one million times stronger than chemotherapy.
"I was sitting at my computer when I looked out the window and saw two pawpaw trees looking at me," Deb said.
She immediately collected some of the leaves and boiled up her own brew.
She started drinking it two times a day, a ritual she followed for the 10 weeks leading up to her pre-operative appointment in Brisbane.
Deb claims that the lump in her groin shrunk to the size of a marble in that time.
When she met with her surgeon, he told her she would likely spend seven to 10 days in hospital after the operation, and she would be in excruciating pain. He also said she would definitely need chemotherapy.
Deb said that post op, she suffered no significant pain and she was out of hospital after two days. She said her body "spat out" after two weeks a drainage bag that was expected to stay in for six.
She had no chemotherapy.
She believes the pawpaw brew has worked a miracle and says the results of her 12-month post-op check speak to that.
Doctors told Deb that a tumour in her armpit, which was discovered before her surgery, was gone and there was not one cancer cell in her body.
She is now keen to spread the word about the brew and its life-changing effects.
"You hear every day about people getting a death sentence with cancer," she said.
"I want people to know about this so it can offer them some hope.
"You've got to have a huge amount of positivity in your body as well. It is all to do with attitude."
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