The day before her baby girl was born, TV reporter Sally Obermeder discovered she had breast cancer. When little Annabelle was just 10 days old, Sally began an agressive 8-month course of radiotherapy and chemo that saved her life. She’s since written a book, Never Stop Believing, and confesses, “Cancer has changed me. I’ve realised how tough on myself I was. Everything was about achieving. This disease made me realise it’s not about how many things you tick off your to-do list, it’s about whether you’re a good person.”
“It’s all about health and happiness”
She’s since written a book, Never Stop Believing, and confesses, “Cancer has changed me. I’ve realised how tough on myself I was. Everything was about achieving. This disease made me realise it’s not about how many things you tick off your to-do list, it’s about whether you’re a good person.”
SheKnows Australia: You’ve been through so much and experienced many ups and downs over the last few years. Having gone through this whole process of cancer diagnosis, treatment and now recovery, how would you describe yourself now?
Sally Obermeder: Determined, highly organised, funny, loving, protective and loyal.
SKAU: Who is your family and where is “home” for you?
SO: Marcus, my husband, and I have been married for 12 years and our daughter Annabelle is 18 months old. We live in a two-bedroom apartment in Bondi, Sydney; I love being so close to the beach and the city.
SKAU: How many different hats do you wear on a daily basis?
SO: Lots! I’m a mum, wife, sister, daughter and friend. In a work-sense, I am a TV reporter for Channel 7 — I’m thrilled to announce I’ll be co-hosting their new afternoon show, The Daily Edition. I’m now an author of my new book, NeverStopBelieving, and I run my own blog, www.swiish.com.au — plus, I am an ambassador for Bio-Oil, I MC events and do public speaking events. I also work with quite a few charities!
SKAU: Your new book Never Stop Believing chronicles your journey after being diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer the day before your little girl was born. What can readers expect in the book?
SO: What is so special about Never Stop Believing is that it’s more than a book about cancer; it’s about chasing one’s dreams and not giving up in the face of adversity. It’s about pursuing one’s passions with the self-belief that can be found deep within us. It’s about how love, hope and determination can help to overcome even the hardest or the most horrible, life-threatening of battles. It’s also a story of struggling to have a baby naturally, using IVF to realise that dream and ultimately it’s the story of my biggest ever battle — fighting and winning against cancer.
SKAU: Obviously, beating cancer is an incredible thing to overcome. What else are you proud of having achieved, both in your personal life and in your career?
SO: Personally, having Annabelle after years of trying for a baby and then watching her grow into a happy and very feisty little girl is my greatest achievement. I’m also proud that after 12 years, some of which were pretty tough and occasionally rocky, Marcus and I are still together and our relationship has only gotten stronger.
Professionally, I’m most proud of changing careers from finance to TV at the age of 30 — and despite years of knockbacks and struggle and almost everyone doubting me, I pushed through to get to where I am today.
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SKAU: How do you manage different needs and the demands of your diverse career, your role as a mum and wife, and your hobbies and interests — not to mention a little “me-time”?
SO: Sometimes I balance them so well I feel like a rock star; other times I feel like I’m failing everyone and I’m crying in the corner like a baby. I find that the only way to balance it all is to be highly organised — which is easy as I’m that way inclined — and to say no to whatever is unnecessary, which is not easy for me, as I suffer from severe FOMO. “Oh, it’s your sister’s aunt’s neighbour’s dog’s birthday? Of course, I would love to come!”
SKAU: On that note then, if you had an hour to yourself — or an entire day! — what would you love to do to treat yourself?
SO: What I would give for a whole day! I would sleep in, then go to breakfast and read the papers, then lie on the sunlounge on my balcony reading magazines. Then it would be time for a carb-heavy lunch, followed by a long nap. After that, a solid stretch on the couch, watching hour after hour of trashy American reality TV. Exhausted by my whole day of nothing I would then get a massage and reflexology. What bliss. I feel relaxed just thinking about that kind of day!
SKAU: What do you love most about being a mum?
SO: The chance to tell someone else what to do! Haha no, that doesn’t work anyway, since Annabelle will only do what she likes. For me, the highlight is watching her personality develop and discovering the person that she is, as opposed to turning her into something I want her to be.
SKAU: What has surprised you the most about becoming a parent?
SO: The most surprising thing is that all the judgements that you had about other parents and other parenting styles go out the window. You realise that all the things you swore you would never do, you end up doing… and often!
SKAU: Lastly, what is the best advice you would offer other mothers juggling hectic schedules?
Outsource, outsource, outsource. If you can get a cleaner or someone to do the ironing once a fortnight, for example, then do it, and use the few hours you saved to go to the park with the kids or see a friend or treat yourself to some time out. There are only a set number of hours in a day and the best thing is to choose carefully where, how and with whom you want to spend them.
To learn more about Sally and her incredible road to recovery, visit www.swiish.com.au or follow Sally on Twitter @SallyObermeder. You can also catch Sally reporting for Channel 7’s Today Tonight and hosting their upcoming afternoon series, TheDailyEdition.