Before her cancer diagnosis, Sonia Buchan had no ailments at all.
But a simple fall led to her embarking on a battle with myeloma.
The 56-year-old, of Maud in Aberdeenshire, was out walking her dogs when she stopped to speak a fellow owner and was knocked to the ground by his labradors.
She said: “I was on the ground in a field and I just thought ‘I’ve landed on my backside, this is going to be sore’.
“I took some paracetamol and just got on with it.
“I carried on going, but the pain got worse and I had to go to Peterhead and saw a doctor who said I had a prolapsed disc, gave me painkillers and I thought everything would be fine.”
The medicine Sonia was given, however, distended her stomach and she was admitted to hospital.
She had several scans and blood tests and was told she had fractured vertebrae and would be fitted with a brace.
But blood tests then revealed she had myeloma.
She said: “Being told I had a type of blood cancer was pretty horrendous for me and my family.
“My back was extremely painful – if you imagine every little bump as someone hitting you with a baseball bat on the back, that’s how it was just getting in and out of the car.
“It was excruciating.”
Because of the pain, Sonia opted to complete her six courses of chemotherapy in tablet form at home, taking 37 in the morning and another four at night.
Her stem cells then had to be harvested and she was given another aggressive dose of chemotherapy before undergoing a stem cell transplant.
She also had to spend five weeks in isolation.
Sonia said: “It was rough. It’s amazing how tired you are.
“Say you’ve had a really busy day, you’ll just have a nap and let your body replenish.
“But this is a tiredness that doesn’t go away, no matter how much sleep you get.”
Unfortunately, Sonia’s cancer will come back, but her doctors have frozen some of the stem cells from her transplant so she that can be treated again.
Meanwhile, Sonia is looking forward to taking part in Courage on the Catwalk this weekend after Jeff Horn, a haematology clinical nurse specialist, suggested she apply.
She said: “When I was at hospital the other day, nurses were coming up to me and saying ‘Oh I’ve seen your picture on the Friends of Anchor Facebook page and you look great’.
“I’m quite a private person but I think taking part will help encourage others.
“I’ve only had three rehearsals so it’s really nerve-racking for me.
“I applied but had been unsuccessful, but then one of the models wasn’t able to take part any more so they phoned and asked if I’d like to do it.
“I feel like I’ve been thrown in at the deep end without a rubber ring, but everyone has made me feel really welcome.”