When marketing executive and mother of two Caroline Bernardi was diagnosed with lung cancer, her life changed forever.
“It was surreal,” says Caroline, who was 44 at the time. “I recall delivering Christmas presents to my clients in the morning and then at 3.00 pm finding out I had inoperable cancer. The following day I was told I had a less than 5 per cent chance of surviving more than 12 months.”
Eight years later and Caroline is back to normal life, and busy caring for her two daughters. Caroline began her treatment at RPA with Professor Michael Boyer AM, now Lifehouse’s Chief Clinical Officer.
“Meditation was a key element of my journey. It gave me true inner strength and an escape from the fear and anxiety of leaving my husband and children. I believe there is a lot patients can do to prepare their body for the onslaught of what Western medicine brings. It’s great Lifehouse is supporting patients in this way.”
Lifehouse offers patients a range of complementary therapies including meditation, massage and acupuncture.
Caroline was fortunate to participate in a clinical trial that turned her diagnosis around completely.
“Unfortunately I didn’t respond to chemotherapy so if it wasn’t for a clinical trial, I am not sure I would be here today,” Caroline says.
As part of the trial, Caroline took three tablets a day, and “within five days I could feel the tumours starting to soften.”
Lifehouse is currently conducting over 140 clinical trials and research projects.
“This will sound bizarre but if I had my time again I would still want to go through all that I have because it’s changed me as a woman, a mother and a wife.”