After great deliberation, Minoli decided on a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.
“It was the right decision and whatever happened, the health part had to come first,” she says. “But my surgeon was amazing. He was so good.”
“He just basically did it, went with the plan, worked with what I wanted, did it holistically in a way that I felt like I had been listened to.”
In the midst of treatments, Minoli had her upcoming MasterChef gig to look forward to, which she says gave her a much-needed distraction.
“The idea of getting through the treatment was fun because I knew I had something that I just absolutely loved and had a passion for.”
“And that was a strong enough driver to kind of get through the treatment and be happy,” the season 13 favourite says.
What really got her through it, however, was Minoli’s ability to shove down the doubt and negative thoughts that ran through her mind.
“After the first cancer treatment, I went through a pretty low point a couple of years down the track,” she reveals of her first 2017 diagnosis. But she was able to get past it by putting kindness back into herself.
“It was just really putting a lot of love into myself to work through that and really love myself and love my body,” she says.
Initially hesitant to share her cancer diagnosis on the show, Minoli reveals she’s glad she was able to bring that representation to Aussie screens.
“Generally, when some people think about someone going through cancer, they associate it with someone looking quite sick,” she says.
“That was the most important thing for me, that stigma, to break that down because you just never know what someone’s going through.
“Cancer can come in all different shapes, forms – it looks different on everyone. And I think normalizing that C word… just say it out loud, just call it what it is.”
Since parting ways with the show a second time, Minoli has been preparing to launch her very first restaurant, Ella, in her home of Darwin, which opens its doors on the first of June.