Eight days after she finished chemotherapy, Invermay woman Vicki Mallett discovered her husband had cancer too.
Mrs Mallett, 58, was diagnosed with breast cancer in August, 2016.
She underwent treatment and a mastectomy.
“Psychologically, it scars you for life,” Mrs Mallett said.
Mrs Mallett also has ovarian cancer, and she will undergo an operation to remove cysts from her ovaries.
Mere weeks ago, the family was dealt another devastating blow; Mrs Mallett’s husband of 22 years, Gary, was diagnosed with cancer.
He has aggressive cancer of the liver and oesophagus.
“It was horrendous … it was just so overwhelming,” Mrs Mallett said.
The grandmother has three children and two step-kids, all of whom are adults now and mostly live on the mainland.
“It has been very hard ... very lonely,” she said.
Mrs Mallett also fostered five children.
Mr Mallett, 65, is undergoing chemotherapy and taking medication.
Mrs Mallett said she had noticed stigma surrounding cancer since her diagnosis.
“The overwhelming part of it is, people with cancer are treated differently,” Mrs Mallett said.
“I don’t know what the issue with it is.”
She said she had felt isolated since the diagnosis.
Mr Mallett, a painter and decorator, and Mrs Mallett, a disability support worker, are unable to work due to their illnesses.
Due to them both being ill, Mrs Mallett said it was “hell” feeling unable to fully support the other.
“I’ve got to support my husband now … and I’m not over [my illness],” Mrs Mallett said.
“I’ve been mowing lawns and doing all the housework.
“Everything is all up in the air and I feel like I am walking around in a daze at the moment.”
Mrs Mallett’s daughter has set up a crowdfunding account to help Mr and Mrs Mallett fund completing their renovations, which were interrupted when Mrs Mallet was diagnosed.
Friends and acquaintances are willing to lend manpower to help out with the renovations the Malletts were working on.
Their Invermay home is in an unfinished state, with a cramped kitchen and no bathroom inside of the house. To donate to the couple, visit https://www.gofundme.com/we-need-yr-help?r=21032