A Cork influencer who has documented her cancer diagnoses and treatments over the last few years has some much-needed good news to share.
Shannen Joyce, from Youghal, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in July 2014, when she was 19. The disease reoccured five years later and in July this year, she confirmed that it had returned for the third time.
"Shit things happen in this world and cancer won't define me. What will define me is how I embark on this journey and take the good with the bad," she wrote on Instagram at the time.
Yesterday, the mother-of-one took to the social media platform to reveal that her treatment has cleared up some of her tumours and shrunk the rest.
"Brentuximab is doing its job. The sickness, tiredness & pain is all worth it. Today's scan showed the cancer tumours in my groin are completely cleared up, the tumours in my chest are still there BUT shrinking. So it's working," she said.
Shannen said the end is now in sight for her treatment.
"All we have to do now is four more rounds of treatment, find me a donor, head for a transplant and then we are done! What a great feeling to know I'm en route to kicking cancer's ass for the third and final time."
She encouraged her Instagram followers to regularly check themselves for cancer all over their bodies.
"So to celebrate with me, I want you all to take five minutes and check yourself: your boobs, armpits, groin, neck, etc. Get to know your body so if there ever is something wrong you can spot it yourself," she urged.
"Book your smear, mammogram, prostate check... whatever it is! Ye all light candles for me, and pray and give me so much support. Do this for you please."
Shannen helped to launch Daffodil Day earlier this year for the Irish Cancer Society. CEO Averil Power described Shannen at the time as "an inspirational young woman and a wonderful advocate".
"We are very lucky to have Shannen using her voice to fight for people and families affected by cancer," she said.
"Every three minutes, somebody like Shannen receives a cancer diagnosis in Ireland, and the number of people getting cancer is growing."
- For information and support, see www.cancer.ie