"I refuse to die quietly. It's not in my nature."
ABC presenter Jill Emberson made good on that promise when she gave a moving account of her battle with ovarian cancer at an International Women's Day event in Newcastle on Friday.
Ms Emberson has become an increasingly vocal advocate for ovarian cancer sufferers and critic of research funding levels since she was diagnosed three years ago.
"I think we need to get angry about this disease, as angry as women were back in the 1970s about breast cancer," she told the audience at the City of Newcastle morning tea at Civic Theatre.
"We need to get angry that our reproductive organs, our ovaries, the very cradle of life, are not getting the funding they need to stop women dying of cancer. It's terrible. I urge you to think about it and help other women.
"It's very hard to tell this story, especially when I feel like I'm advocating for myself. I feel a bit selfish sometimes, but I've met so many now up at the John [Hunter Hospital] who go in, who know that their chances of survival are so low, who do a little bit of fundraising in their local area, raise a few thousand here, raise a few thousand there, and end up back with their cancer and having to retreat to their homes and die quietly."
In an at-times funny, bitter, defiant and devastating speech, Ms Emberson, who married her partner, Ken, last year, traversed the lows and occasional highs of her "unbearably difficult" cancer story.
The Newcastle Citizen of the Year had a secondary brain tumour removed in 2017 before her cancer progressed to "very capital T terminal".
"When we got that news, Ken and I wept openly in the car park of the John Hunter, and I sometimes think how many horrible conversations and moments of grief go on in the car parks of our hospitals."
She said that, like most people, she thought cancer was something that happened to other people.
"I felt exactly the same way, 'I'm not the type of person who gets cancer; there is no cancer in our family', then I get the f---ing cancer that's going to kill me."
Ms Emberson has spoken at the National Press Club and met Prime Minister Scott Morrison last month, taking aim at the government's $27 million funding of the McGrath Foundation.
"I know it's a very controversial thing to say, but I believe that the Jane McGrath Foundation is a private fundraising organisation who shouldn't be using government funds for nurses when women like me are dying of a disease because we don't have enough money spent on us.
"It's as simple as that: money, research, better outcomes. It's a very hard thing to say to the prime minister."
She said her message on ovarian cancer was relevant on International Women's Day because the disease killed 1000 of the 1600 Australian women diagnosed each year.
"It's a very low survival rate, 46 per cent. It's typically a disease of lower socioeconomic women, which is another reason I think this is a big deal for a town like Newcastle."
She said women had started agitating in the 1970s against "barbaric treatments" for breast cancer, leading to publicity, funding, research, screening and now a 91 per cent survival rate.
By contrast, diagnosis of ovarian cancer required "peak and shriek" surgery in which cells were tested by a pathologist "while you're on the slab".
"Just this week we've had the news that cervical cancer is going to be eradicated in Australia. That's incredible. Australia, leading the way for cervical cancer.
"And I think the next message is, let's do it for the rest of our girly bits. Let's do it for our vaginas, our vulvas, our ovaries, because those women with those cancers are dying at an absolutely unacceptable rate.
"And I meet them up at the John - they're awkward, they're embarrassed, they're sad, they're horrified. They know that their chances of living a life they've always dreamed of are really going to be limited.
"Those women who die leave behind huge, unmet potential."
CORRECTION:An earlier version of this story said Jill Emberson was Newcastle Australian of the Year. She is Newcastle's Citizen of the Year. And the number of deaths every year due to ovarian cancer is 1000, not 600.