Storyline Spotlight - Martha's cancer (Sept - Oct)

StorylineSpotlight-Martha'scancer.jpgThroughout the years we've seen heartbreaking storylines relating to characters suffering from cancer and the battle they and their family and friends go through during the incredibly difficult time. Long-term viewers will remember Meg Bowman's fight against leukaemia in the early '90s and more recently Eloise Lennox and Flynn Saunders' struggle with leukaemia and melanoma respectively.

Adding to the list of Summer Bay residents who have been diagnosed with cancer is Martha, who was recently told she has breast cancer.

After finding a lump Martha had an ultrasound scan, before undergoing a biopsy to collect the tissue sample which would then be sent to pathology for examination. The news wasn't good and it was left to Rachel to tell Martha.

With a baby on the way and Jack struggling to come to terms with the devastating news, things couldn't have been much worse for Martha. But Jack wanted to do something positive for both of them, so, wanting to face the disease as husband and wife, he and Martha decided to get married in a ceremony held outside the hospital grounds.

After the bride and groom exchanged vows, however, Martha collapsed and was rushed to hospital. It was touch and go for a while, with Martha flatlining and everyone uncertain as to whether she would survive. Much to the surprise of her family and friends, Martha did pull through and was soon awake and talking. Sad news was on the way, though, as an ultrasound confirmed that the baby hadn't survived. After Roman was informed, Martha thanked him for his support before telling him that he would always be a special part of her life.

Martha's cancer diagnosis has been a hard-hitting and emotional storyline and has seen members vocal about their likes and dislikes. Here we've selected some favourites:

'Jodi is doing a good job at the moment for what must be a difficult storyline and close to her heart in a way.' (Pritnep)

'Poor Martha, talk about bad luck. The biopsy looked painful. She seems to be more worried about how this affecting the baby, rather than herself. Really good acting from Jodi. (KatieL)

'Martha, Martha, Martha. I want to strangle her. Granted she hasn't had enough time to absorb everything that's going on, but still she sounds like a spoilt brat (what you said Jem) and only thinking of what she wants. She wants THIS baby but chances are she's not going to be around to see it grow up. If was Jack's, he could grow to resent it and if it were Roman's, well he doesn't even look after the one he has now. So I don't think it would have much of a chance. And what about the guilt it would feel growing up knowing that their mother chose them over herself? What about Jack? I thought they were more mature, but all Martha seems to be doing is pushing Jack away, instead confiding in Roman. I really feel for Jack more than I do for Martha.' (KatieL)

'Great start to the breast cancer storyline and I hope it continues in the same vein. Jodi was fantastic today, as was Paul....and Jack managed to do and say all the right things, surprisingly. They don't usually show people getting procedures done in the hospital. I guess it looks like they are going to really involve us in all aspects of this storyline.' (Karen)

'I don't mean to be offensive, but I don't understand Martha. So she saves the baby (assuming she doesn't miscarry for any number of reasons anyway). Then what? The way she's refusing treatment, she'll most likely be dead before she sees it grow up. Does that factor into her selfless plan? Leaving a child without it's mother, and Jack and/or Roman looking after it alone, having to answer the questions about why did mummy have to die? Having to answer "Well dear, she didn't HAVE to die, she chose to die because of you. It's all your fault, and a part of me will never forgive you for that." Ugh. I know there are no easy answers here, but she just doesn't think. She hasn't even considered the options, she's just being stubborn and short-sighted as usual. "I want THIS baby." She just sounded like a spoiled brat when she said that. Again, I don't mean to be offensive, but it's just so typically Martha. She's not thinking of anyone but herself - not even the baby. It's all about what she wants. She's frustrating!' (Emmasi)

'I can sympathise with Martha, and with Jodi because of her past experiences with her boyfriend, but I still find the whole thing boring. I think Jack and Martha have had so much happen to them its just one thing too many for me to get into it really.' (I Love Sam)

'Besides that I really enjoyed last night's episode and speaking as someone who doesn't particularly like Jack and Martha, I was very moved by their acting and their scenes (especially in the hospital), which goes to show just how moving and emotional this breast cancer storyline is.' (Dark Angel)