MAFS dating expert, Melanie Schilling shares health update amid cancer battle

''Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.''
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When  Married At First Sight Australia dating expert, Melanie Schilling heard those three devastating words, her “whole life changed.” 

On December 20, 2023, the Australian TV personality shared that after suffering from ‘severe stomach cramps’ she was officially diagnosed with colon cancer.

Mel Schilling was diagnosed with colon cancer.

(Credit: Instagram)

Mel shared the news under a post of a beautiful photo of her embracing her husband, Gareth Brisbane and daughter, Maddie in front of their Christmas tree in the UK – explaining how terrifying finding out about her cancer was.

“‘You have cancer’ — Three little words that everyone dreads but no one ever expects to hear. Last Thursday my consultant told me those 3 words,” she wrote.

Mel first started experiencing the cramps while filming MAFS in Australia, later admitting to Yahoo Lifestyle that she “doubled over in pain” during the reunion dinner party. 

She dismissed the cramps, assuming it was caused by the amount of travelling she was doing. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case.

“I saw my GP in Sydney and he put it down to constipation, gave me some laxatives and sent me on my way,” she explained. “Fortunately I knew something still wasn’t right so I booked in for a scan when I returned to the UK. On Thursday I was told I had colon cancer and in an instant, my whole life changed.”

“John Lennon famously said that life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans, how right he was.”

Mel Schilling is a dating expert on Married At First Sight Australia.

(Credit: Instagram)

Unfortunately, Mel’s Christmas plans to travel to Northern Ireland with family were ruined and had to spend the holiday in hospital. But on the bright side, “getting rid of Terry (what I’ve named my tumour) will be the best present of all.”

“Instead tomorrow morning I’m checking in to hospital to have an operation to remove a 5cm tumour in my colon, a tumour that had it gone undetected for much longer would have killed me.”

“Despite this, I feel incredibly blessed that it’s a cancer that is relatively easy to eradicate, I’m expected to make a full recovery though it’s a rough road ahead.”

“I also feel so lucky to have an incredible support network around me, both personally and professionally, my own family and my TV family have been amazing this past few days.”

Mel Schilling was unable to spend Christmas with family.

(Credit: Instagram)

She finished her health update by urging fans to always seek help if something is wrong and to not ignore it because “it might just save your life.”

In light of her diagnosis, Mel has returned to the set and is filming for MAFS UK once again, sharing her excitement to Instagram with a few snaps featuring the UK crew and fellow expert Charlene Douglas.

“She’s baaaccckkk!” Mel captioned the video of her being escorted to set.

During mid-season production, Mel shared an update on her cancer battle. 

Mel was able to drive home for Christmas following her surgery.

(Credit: Instagram)

While speaking on Heart Breakfast with Jamie Theakston and Amanda Holden, Mel revealed she was “doing well” after taking a short break from chemotherapy. 

“I’m doing well. So this is currently a week off in my chemo cycles, which is why I’ve got quite a lot of energy today,” she informed the hosts. 

“I’ve learned there is a lot of different types of chemo… so the type of chemo that I have, doesn’t really make me sick. It’s not going to make me lose my hair. 

“I have other side effects like tingly fingers, that’s a funny one and very sensitive to cold. So I have to wear gloves a lot. And just a little bit tired.”

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