‘I’ve been given 6 months to live at 58 – I’m determined to make it to my 60th birthday’

By Staff

A London based dance teacher is determined to make the most of the time she has left after being given six months to live. Louise Hudson, 58, was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in 2022 and on February 6 this year she was told she has two lesions on her brain.

Despite going through tough chemotherapy sessions Louise told MyLondon she’s “not one of these people that’s just going to hide away and curl up and die”. She is using the time she has left to fundraise for the hospice she attends near her current home in south Wales and encourage others to get tested.

Louise added: “My prognosis isn’t fantastic, it could be any day now up to six months but I am determined to cling on as long as I can. I am desperate to get to my 60th birthday and to do another dance show.

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“My husband Barry and I are also celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary this year and we’re renewing our vows in the church that we got married in so I am in the process of organising that and I am really excited.”

Louise first discovered a lump in her breast while laying in bed playing with her cat. She managed to get an emergency doctor appointment and after a mammogram was told she had stage two cancer.

As she was receiving chemotherapy they also found abnormalities on her liver and after more tests was told she had stage four breast cancer and her treatment plan changed. “This treatment is a lot kinder. The first chemo I had my husband came up to my bedroom twice and thought I had died,” said Louise.

“I spent most of my having the chemo and then when you start to get better the cycle starts again. At that point you think, what’s the point? Just take me, I can’t cope with this.

“But you get through it and deal with the horrible side effects. The hardest part is seeing my husband have to deal with it and knowing I’m not going to be around much longer.

“I have amazing friends and family that will look after him, but we are such a tight unit and have been through some tough stuff. The one thing that upsets me is leaving Barry.”

Louise’s mother, who also had breast cancer, opened Chelsea ballet club for adults in the 60s and since she passed Louise has carried on her legacy. She regularly travels to London to teach and is currently working towards a production.

Louise said: “Being on stage wearing makeup and putting on a costume is my happy place. I want to continue passing on my love of ballet.

“Even if I don’t dance in the next show, I will put on a costume and stand on stage.” Louise is part of an exhibition by Breast Cancer Now called the Gallery of Hope which combines photographs of 10 cast members living with secondary breast cancer with images enhanced by AI to create snapshots of future moments.

The exhibition will be on display at the Saatchi Gallery on March 13 and 14, and Simon Vincent, Director of Research, Support and Influencer at Breast Cancer Now, said: “The ‘Gallery of Hope’ shines a much-needed spotlight on the realities of living with secondary breast cancer, through people sharing their own experiences and future moments they hope to see.

“This exhibition hits home just how much more needs to be done for the estimated 61,000 people living with secondary breast cancer in the UK, and the vital role of research in bringing hope – and indeed time – so that people with the disease live to see the future moments that matter so much to them.”

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