A terminally ill mother-of-two who could have as little as six months to live has told how she is making memory boxes for her daughters.
Brave Zoe McIvor, mother to Keira Charley, 15, and Millie McIvor, 10, has spoken just weeks after she was told there was no cure for her breast cancer and secondary lung cancer.
The 35-year-old, who was born in Brighton and now lives in Eastbourne, said she wanted to use her remaining time to also help other women, who she is urging to check their breasts.
She is urging women of all ages to check their breasts for unusual lumps, bumps and cracks.
Speaking to The Argus, Ms McIvor said she was initially diagnosed with breast cancer shortly before Christmas 2012 after finding a 17cm malignant tumour.
She underwent chemotherapy, surgery and then radiotherapy. Two weeks ago doctors told her the cancer was back, in both her breasts as well as her lungs, and that it is incurable.
She said: “I want women to check their breasts over and over and over again.
“If you find anything go to the doctor. It could be a sign of something more.
“I feel I should wear a sandwich board, ‘Check your breasts’.”
Ms McIvor, who worked with children in care before she became ill, said the hardest thing was thinking about leaving her children.
She is a single parent to Keira, a pupil at Cavendish School and Millie, who attends Ocklynge Junior, both in Eastbourne.
Ms McIvor admitted: “I can’t think about not having them in my life or me not being in their lives. But I am making memory boxes for them. “We are going to shows and doing fun things.
“I am putting special things in the memory boxes – photographs and ticket stubs.”
She told how she had jewellery made with her thumb print on them for her girls.
She continued: “The doctor told me timescale-wise I could have between six months and a couple of years to live – but didn’t sound convinced.
“It’s terminal. I know that. My daughters know.
“They know tablets won’t take it away.”
On Thursday her friends organised a party to celebrate her life at Carousel’s on Brighton seafront.
They also all took ‘no make-up selfies’ and posted them on Facebook to raise money for cancer charities.