HER son has barely known a life where his mother does not have cancer.

For 15 years Janette Drummond has battled breast cancer, scar tissue cancer, lung, liver and spinal cancer.

And just last week, doctors delivered the terrible blow that Janette's illness has now spread to her eyes.

But, incredibly, Janette is far from downbeat and is determined to take as positive an approach to life as she can.

Janette said: "My faith has helped me to get through, I have good faith. I also have faith in the medicine.

"Sometimes I will ask myself 'Am I naive? Am I stupid? Am I in denial?' but I do stay positive.

"Friends and family are very supportive and I tell myself I'm not giving in. I'm not one to sit around in my dressing gown.

"I have a self respect that gets me up, dressed, hair done and always the lippy on."

Janette's cancer battle began in 2002 when she was diagnosed with pre-cancerous cells in her left breast, requiring a lumpectomy and radiotherapy.

Her son Adam, now 20, had just turned six while daughter Jenny, who is now 25, was 10.

The illness was discovered thanks to her employer, M&S, who send staff aged 40 and over for mammograms. On the NHS that age is 50.

In 2005 Janette was then diagnosed with full blown breast cancer and endured chemotherapy, a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, which meant 10 months off work.

Four years later, in 2009, the cancer reoccurred in the scar tissue of her reconstruction.

From 2009 to 2013 she had five recurrences of cancer in the scar tissue so doctors removed the area and replaced it with skin from Janette's stomach.

In 2015 it was found that the cancer had spread to Janette's lungs, liver and spine, meaning more rounds of chemotherapy until October 2016.

Now she is undergoing chemotherapy, an aural tablet taken twice a day, for the cancer that has spread to her lungs and liver.

A scan last week showed the cancer has now spread to her eyes.

Janette said: "For Adam, I have had cancer since he was six years old. I was I was 42 when I was diagnosed and it was a complete shock.

"My mum had breast cancer but she was 80 and I have two older sisters who are both healthy.

"The eye doctor was so surprised by our calmness but you get attuned to the bad news.

"I don't want to lose my sight. I couldn't bear it.

"But the doctors are not saying they can't do anything, at least, and there is talk of radiotherapy."

Through each round of diagnosis and treatment, Janette had a motivating goal: to return to work.

A visual manager with Marks and Spencer, Janette adored her job and, having worked there for 28 years, she had a great group of friends.

Increasingly, however, it became clear that work was as much of a struggle as a salve and Janette began to realise she might have to give up her job.

It was then she turned to Beatson Cancer Charity's Specialist Health and Work Service (SHAWS) where she was paired with case worker Donna McLeod.

Clinical staff with extensive experience engage with and support cancer patients to continue to work during treatment and to return to work post treatment as well as advocating on their behalf when needed.

Fully funded by the charity, the service provides levels of support to patients in a way that best suits them, with options of a telephone call and face to face meetings.

Patients are assigned a specialist practitioner who works closely with them throughout their cancer journey - in Janette’s case this was Donna.

Donna helped Janette discuss her options and was there for her through what was a gut-wrenching decision.

Janette said: "As far as work was concerned, I was thinking I could still go back to work when I was having chemo - it was a goal, something to work towards.

"Donna listened and it was just what I needed at the time. It wasn't counselling, it was someone impartial to listen.

"I was having absence meetings at work and it was very difficult. I wouldn't go outside without my lippy on and I always made an effort so I don't think my line manager realised how ill I was.

"I finally decided to take early retirement through ill health. I miss it but I'm filling my days. I go to an art class organised by Macmillan Cancer Support and everyone there has their own story.

"At work I had an identity and I was Jinty to my work colleagues. I missed that so when I started the art class I introduced myself as Jinty."

The 56-year-old added: "In the hospital you are always aware of a queue outside the door and a clock ticking but it was never like that with Donna, you never felt there was a time pressure.

"I had been working since I was 18, so nearly 40 years. I have always enjoyed my job and through all the cancer journey it has been a goal, that if I was back to work I was back to me.

"I don't want to say work defined me because I'm a bigger person than that but work was a big part of me and also the lovely people I worked with."

Janette had been married to Stuart for 30 years and he had been her rock. She says he affectionately calls her Chop Chop Busy Busy because she is always on the move.

Stuart, also 56, said: "As a carer, I'm sometimes not too good but I always know there is help there for me.

"Cancer is a b*****d of a disease but you feel part of an army.

"We liken cancer to a bully and you never let the bully win but sometimes it knocks you down flat. You can't remember your life without cancer because it's been 15 years.

"I've heard cancer described as the ultimate thief as you can't see it but it steals everything from you.

"You have got to keep hope because without that you have lost your energy source."

Janette says the waiting is the hardest thing - waiting for results and treatment outcomes and what diagnosis will come next.

Seeing the impact it has had on Jenny and Adam has also be hard - but Stuart says the family of four could not be more close.

Janette, from Burnside, said: "We have had so many times we have come back from hospital and we have to sit down with the kids.

"They are almost hardened to it now because they have heard it so many times.

"I'm staying positive. I don't want to die in my 50s. I want to see my children get married and spend time with my grandchildren."

Stuart added: "Our friends think Stuart and Janette are like bread and butter - they just go together. I can't imagine life without her.

"Janette is a hero. She's unbelievable. If she was anyone else she would have curled up in a ball and died."

*Today the Beatson Cancer Charity marks its third anniversary following the merger of Friends of the Beatson and The Beatson Oncology Centre Fund.

It concentrates on fundraising and communication; patient and family support; and funding specialist staff resources, innovative service developments, enhanced medical equipment, research projects and staff development.