An inspiring mum whose cancer has recurred five times says nothing is scarier than chemotherapy and is therefore saying 'yes' to different challenges.

Mandy Mahoney, 48, from Downham, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 and remains terminally ill.

News Shopper:

"I have lived with uncertainty for eight years," Mandy told News Shopper. "I am one scan result away from potential disaster."

She said the word difficult doesn't do her journey justice and last year she figured out how to live her best life despite incurable metastatic breast cancer.

"I struggled with that and it was only recently I started to say yes to things," she explained. "It makes me feel like I’m not staying at home waiting to die."

Mandy put on weight because of her cancer treatment and two years ago she started powerlifting with her daughter.

Her first competition is in November and before that she will take part in a 10k run.

One of her more daunting challenges so far was climbing the 02, conceding she is "absolutely terrified" of heights.

This weekend she is saying hello to the catwalk to mark Cancer Survivor’s Day on June 23.

The annual fashion show is at the cancer centre at Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital and celebrates those who have survived cancer and the team who care for them.

"I’m nervous," Mandy said. "I’m not built like a model. But there’s no other way I could do anything like this, so that’s the exciting bit."

Mandy is an outreach worker for autistic children and said changes to her body are something she struggled to overcome.

"I thought it would interfere with my breasts and hair which is difficult for a woman," she said. "But I didn’t think it would make me really fat and pile weight on.

"It just felt unfair and another thing that makes you feel unattractive."

She advised others with a terminal illness to do whatever works for them.

Mandy added: "Being active and saying yes works for me now. It might not work for other people so do whatever feels right.

"With terminal cancer you don’t get a second chance and it brings your mortality into sharper focus."

Her children are aged 19 and 21 and they told News Shopper that the cancer recurring so often never becomes easier to deal with.

However, they said they get through it as a family.

Referring to her children, Mandy joked: "Ultimately I want to live long enough to be a terrible example to my two children by doing all the things that little old ladies shouldn’t."