Home Australia Olivia was 33 years old, a mother of three, and married to her high school sweetheart. She later discovered that her severe ‘stomach ache’ was something else entirely: ‘The worst day of our lives.’

Olivia was 33 years old, a mother of three, and married to her high school sweetheart. She later discovered that her severe ‘stomach ache’ was something else entirely: ‘The worst day of our lives.’

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Olivia Renga (pictured with her husband Josh and their three daughters) was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer in mid-January.

High school sweethearts Olivia and Josh Renga welcomed their twin daughters 18 months ago and were thriving as a young family.

But in mid-January her world turned upside down when Olivia was diagnosed with a “rare and aggressive” terminal cancer at just 33 years old.

The mother of three received the tragic news that her liver was riddled with small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma. The cancer is considered “rare” because it is usually found in the lungs, not the liver.

Five and a half months later, the couple, from Ballarat, are “hoping for a miracle” as Olivia undergoes chemotherapy treatment.

Josh told FEMAIL that the couple is taking it “one day at a time” and trying to stay positive during this difficult experience.

Olivia Renga (pictured with her husband Josh and their three daughters) was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer in mid-January.

Cancer is considered

The cancer is considered “rare” because it is usually found in the lungs, not the liver.

Olivia began experiencing nausea and abdominal discomfort in late November last year, which at first was “no cause for concern.”

But on Christmas Eve she collapsed from sudden, extreme pain and was bedridden for the rest of the day.

As it was the festive season, there were no clinics or pharmacies open, so Olivia had to endure agony for a couple of days before finally seeing a GP.

There were no signs of anything sinister in the test results and his symptoms were not considered serious because he has no family history of liver cancer.

Fortunately, Olivia sought a second opinion from another GP who was “unsure” about sending her home despite seeing the test results.

“We had a family holiday booked in Queensland for the following week – it was going to be our first big trip together as a small family – but Olivia was sent to the ER for testing at the property,” Josh recalled.

Doctors then performed a biopsy for further testing.

Olivia spent a week in the hospital, the family vacation was canceled and the couple still didn’t get results for a week.

Fortunately, Olivia sought a second opinion from another primary care doctor who

Fortunately, Olivia sought a second opinion from another GP who was “unsure” about sending her home despite seeing the test results.

Josh, who runs his own business, recalled Olivia visiting him at work to share the dreaded news after visiting the doctor.

‘It was the worst day of our lives. It all happened very quickly over the course of a month. “We both cried and were distraught,” she said.

“None of us thought it was going to be this. It was quite a shock. Then we went to the oncologist’s appointment together.

“I didn’t want to believe it was true and I still don’t want to believe it’s true.” It still doesn’t seem real. “It was a very difficult thing to take in and it’s not something we expected at all,” she stated.

Doctors found one main tumor and several smaller ones in Olivia’s liver. Her specific cancer is “hard to stop” and chemotherapy only works for a certain period of time.

Olivia started chemotherapy immediately after she was diagnosed, but a month ago it stopped working effectively, so doctors switched to a different medication.

The couple met in high school and first got together when they were 16 and later married in 2016.

The couple met in high school and first got together when they were 16 and later married in 2016.

Doctors cannot accurately predict the amount of time Olivia has left.

Olivia started chemotherapy immediately after she was diagnosed, but a month ago it stopped working effectively, so doctors decided to try a different medication.

Olivia started chemotherapy immediately after she was diagnosed, but a month ago it stopped working effectively, so doctors switched to another medication.

The couple started seeing each other when they were 16, married in 2016 and had their first daughter, Neve, four years ago.

Now they are struggling with the idea that Olivia might not win her battle with cancer, leaving Josh a single father.

Doctors cannot accurately predict the amount of time Olivia has left; It could be weeks or years as it is treated on a “case by case” basis.

She spends as much time as she can at home with her children and Josh, but goes to the hospital when necessary.

‘We want to do things as a family as much as possible. “Life is a lot different than it was six months ago,” Josh said.

‘I hope for a miracle every day. It burns inside me to think about what our future could be like.

‘Especially with our girls. They need her mother, they need her at her wedding, every Mother’s Day… we just don’t know what’s going to happen and the unknown is very difficult to face.’

'I hope for a miracle every day. It burns inside me to think about what our future could be like.

‘I hope for a miracle every day. “It burns me inside to think about what our future could be like,” Josh said.

Josh also shared a heartfelt message he wants all Australians to know.

‘Life is fragile, so don’t waste it. “He can be very cruel sometimes, but you have to try hard to see the positive side,” she said.

The couple hope that sharing Olivia’s story will highlight how life can change in an instant and how no one is immune to cancer.

‘A positive mindset is the best tool you can have. “It’s the only thing you can control,” Josh added.

If you would like to contribute to Olivia’s GoFundMe, Click here.

What are neuroendocrine tumors?

The neuroendocrine system is a network of glands and nerve cells that produce hormones and release them into the bloodstream. These hormones help control normal body functions, such as the digestion of food.

Neuroendocrine cells are found throughout the body, but primarily in the gastrointestinal tract (including the large intestine and small intestine), pancreas, and lungs.

Neuroendocrine tumors (also known as NETs) are a rare type of tumor that forms in these cells. The type is usually defined by the origin of the abnormal cells and can range from low grade (slow growth) to high grade (fast growth).

Neuroendocrine tumors that produce extra amounts of hormones can cause certain symptoms and are called functional tumors. However, not all neuroendocrine tumors produce additional (non-functional) hormones.

Source: Cancer Council

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