Podcast: Dawn’s Meningioma And Breast Cancer Story

Interview: Surviving a Brain Tumour and Breast Cancer, Dawn Hamill’s Resilience and Inspiring Journey

Dawn Hamill, a brave and inspirational woman, survived a non-cancerous brain tumour (Parasaggital Meningioma) in 2008 and later Grade 2 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Breast Cancer in 2014. She emphasizes the importance of support and loved ones in overcoming life’s battles.

“For survivors, acceptance of the changes caused by health conditions is an ongoing process, and it can be challenging to adjust to new limitations and aspirations”. – Dawn Hamill

Dawn offers advice to those diagnosed with a brain tumour, suggesting taking each day at a time, being kind to oneself, seeking information from reputable sources, joining support groups, accepting counselling, and embracing change. She encourages living in the moment and finding joy in each experience. Additionally, Dawn shares that she fulfilled a list of life goals before turning 50, which included a parachute jump, learning piano, hiking, visiting the Grand Canyon, ballroom dancing, and enjoying afternoon tea at the Ritz hotel.

Her story is a testament to resilience and the importance of cherishing life’s moments.

Interview with Dawn Hamill

I ask every person I speak to. What advice would you give to a person recently diagnosed with a brain tumour?

Here is Dawn’s suggestions:

  • Take it day by day, sometimes the best you can achieve is to get through the next hour
  • Be kind to yourself
  • If you want information, only use reputable sources such as NHS or large charities.
  • Approach a support group – it took me two years before I was signposted to any support, and it was the best thing that happened in my recovery
  • Accept counselling if you are struggling, I don’t know how I would have coped without it!
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help, people want to do something so tell them what they can do such as prepare you a meal, take you out, give you a lift to the hospital etc.
  • Sometimes change can bring good things, you just have to look out for it.
  • Live life in the moment, try not to spend too much time looking backwards or forwards to the future, and learn to enjoy each moment.
  • Understand that acceptance of your situation is an ever-evolving entity.
  • Never, Ever Give Up.

Interview with Dawn Hamill

Tell us something about yourself that people probably didn’t know?

When I was in my 20s, I made a list of the things I wanted to do before I was 50. I then worked through them and am so thankful I had the foresight to do that then, as I was 45 when my brain was discovered. My ticked-off list included:

  • Do a freefall parachute jump
  • Learn to play the piano
  • Join a rambling group and walk every week
  • Climb mountains
  • See the Grand Canyon and walk to the bottom
  • Take up ballroom dancing
  • Have afternoon tea at the Ritz Hotel in London
  • Study for a Degree

I also asked Dawn, ‘What is the toughest challenge survivors face?’

I can’t speak for others, but my own is the ongoing journey to ‘acceptance’. What I mean by that is ‘acceptance’ of the changes which occur after a brain tumour, and in my case, breast cancer, epilepsy and limited mobility, is an ongoing process. I had never understood that before. I thought once I had reached acceptance, that would be it. But it isn’t. I imagine it is the same with any ongoing health condition.

For example, I have accepted that my mobility has been considerably affected by the tumour and surgery. BUT day to day I still get frustrated if I come up against something new which I can no longer do. One of my life dreams was to visit Antarctica; however, when I started to seriously explore the possibility of doing this, I came up against so many hurdles and brick walls I eventually gave up. It has taken me a year to accept that, yet again my mobility and epilepsy are stopping me from achieving another dream.

Interview with Dawn Hamill


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Dawn Hamill has survived a brain tumour and breast cancer and is now a blogger sharing her experiences and her daily life


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