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Mum-of-two from north London leaves husband to be 'free' to complete bucket list after terminal cancer diagnosis

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 16/05/2017 Chloe Chaplain

© Provided by Independent Print Limited A north London mum-of-two who was diagnosed with terminal cancer walked out on her husband so she would be “free” to complete her bucket list.

Annabel Nnochiri, 56, was given two-and-a-half years to live in 2012 after suffering from breast cancer which spread to her bones.

Believing she would not be alive much longer, she decided she no longer wanted to be “just a housewife” and left her husband of 28 years.

Since then, she has taken up salsa, painting and started touring the world.

Ms Nnochiri had beaten breast cancer in 2010 but two years later – and just months after both her parents were killed in a car crash – doctors discovered a tumour in her hip.

“The breast cancer had metastasised into my bones. I'd talked with others for a long while about ending my marriage,” she told The Mirror.

“I made a bucket list and the first thing was to leave my husband. I had a good life but just felt completely trapped and wanted to break free.

<span style="font-size:13px;">ree': AnnabelNnochiri with her father at her wedding (BBC)</span> © Provided by Independent Print Limited ree': AnnabelNnochiri with her father at her wedding (BBC)

“Knowing I had a short time to go I knew I couldn't live the rest of my life just being a housewife.

“I thought I've got two-and-a-half years left and I don't want to be in this house. I don't want to be cooking dinner every night... I want to be free!

“I asked my 19-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter and they both agreed I would be happier if I went and did my own thing.”

Ms Nnochiri, who will appear on the BBC2 documentary A Time To Live, then secretly planned her future life – even buying a new flat – before leaving her husband.

Three years later she is still alive and said that both her and her husband had moved on and been happy since the split.

She said her decision changed her personality: “I used to be anxious, worrying what people thought of me.

“If I hadn't had the cancer I would have been a dull person. But because of it I've become a much braver, naughty older woman.”

A Time To Live, which airs on Wednesday, follows 12 people with terminal cancer – documenting how their diagnosis has changed their lives.

Watch: Eight-year-old Blue free of cancer after 'miracle' treatment (by PA)

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