Light the Night: shining light on cancer

Shelley Stone-Sutorius and her son Damon.  Picture: Matt Jelonek        www.communitypix.com.au   d442012
Shelley Stone-Sutorius and her son Damon. Picture: Matt Jelonek        www.communitypix.com.au d442012

A LOCAL woman’s cancer story is proof the disease can catch even the most well-informed on the hop.

For the few months prior to her November 2014 cancer diagnosis, Shelley Stone-Sutorius said she had put up with a “collection of strange symptoms”, attributing tiredness and an upset stomach to being a mother to two young boys and her busy job as a medical researcher.

But after noticing a growing lump on her pelvis and waking up in a severe sweat, she knew she needed to get herself checked out.

The Beeliar resident was soon in for surgery where doctors removed a mandarin-sized tumour. That was followed by three months of chemotherapy.

“It was surreal – suddenly I had cancer,” she said.

“It’s not something I expected. I just had to buckle down and get on with it.”

Mrs Stone-Sutorius bounced back well, completing chemotherapy in February.

Her progress was halted for a short while after the 35-year-old was struck down by shingles soon after chemo.

Six months on and she said life was returning to normal.

“I’m just taking it one day at a time,” she said.

Mrs Stone-Sutorius will be one of 30,000 people across Australia taking part in the Leukaemia Foundation’s Light the Night event on October 9.

Now in its eighth year, the event involves participating walkers carrying coloured lanterns – gold to remember someone, white for their own journey, or blue to show care.

“It’s amazing to be able to chat to others who have gone through a similar situation. It’s important too because having cancer can make you feel isolated,” the local mum said.

For more visit www.lightthenight.org.au.