Holy Smoke

My sister has cancer – here’s her recipe for enjoying life in lockdown

32 min listen

In This Episode

In this week’s episode of Holy Smoke, I get to interview my personal heroine – my younger sister, Carmel Thompson. She was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer in November 2018. She’s now undergoing a second round of chemotherapy after coming out of remission. And she’s enjoying life.

In our conversation she explains how the Coronavirus pandemic presents us with an opportunity to treasure the simple things in life – a lesson she learned the (very) hard way. She also talks about the two women saints who have given her strength – the ‘two Theresas’, St Thérèse of Lisieux and St Teresa of Avila. The drawing above is by the phenomenal Brazilian artist Ritchelly Oliveira (check out his Instagram account). It captures her indomitable spirit to perfection – though, in fact, it was drawn from a photograph of Carmel waiting impatiently for her brother to come out of a vape shop. I also talk to her next-door neighbour, Shelley Turley, who has acted as a sort of guardian angel during this troubling and surreal time, one which began for us long before the virus appeared. Carmel was on Holy Smoke last year, and the response from listeners was overwhelming. This episode is even more uplifting.


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