Labour MP Kiri Allan has shared an update on her first week of treatment for cervical cancer, including a heartfelt message of thanks for the "prayers and love" she has received.
Allan, whose ministerial portfolios include conservation and emergency management, announced last week she had been diagnosed with stage 3 cervical cancer.
In a post to Facebook on Friday afternoon, the minister says her week began with chemotherapy.
"We were greeted by all the amazing staff in the cancer day unit. A particular shout out to Jean from the Cancer Society, who gave me a huge hug and she told us how she got into doing the voluntary mahi and that it was 22 years to the day her husband passed away," Allan shared.
"It's a whole new world on this journey - everything is new - and our motto is be prepared for anything because we don’t know what to expect."
Allan says it has been a "sobering" week coming to terms with her new reality.
"Getting into the flow of things of where the right wards are - the right amount of water to drink before daily radiation - how to curb nausea - being more aware of where toilets are at all times and the best tracksuit sales on in Welly - which is now my new suit," she jokes.
The minister also expressed gratitude for the "prayers and love" she has received following her diagnosis.
"I've been blown away by the messages, the letters, cards, emails, flowers, books, gifts and all the prayers and love I'm feeling across the motu
"What has been resounding is the amount of you that have got your smears - supported others in doing so - and the heartfelt stories of those appointments. There are so many reasons that we don't get checked, and I pray that by talking about this publicly, we collectively can continue to help more and more people get the tests they need."
And it seems like Allan's three-year-old daughter, Hiwaiterangi Allan-Coates, is taking special care of her mum.
"I'm stoked to have had a hands on nurse this week - her name is Hiwaiterangi and she's three years old. I know she's growing up to know all about how to look after her tinana," Allan writes.
"That's week one my friends - bring on week two."
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern released a statement last week confirming Allan will take a leave of absence while she undergoes medical treatment.
"I consider Kiri not just a colleague, but a friend. This news has been devastating. But I also know that Kiri is a person of determination, and as we've talked over the past few days I can hear how focused she is on her treatment, and ultimately her return," Ardern said.
The Prime Minister said Allan's parliamentary family will do everything they can to support her during this time.
While Allan undergoes treatment, Kris Faafoi will be the acting Minister of Emergency Management, a role he has held previously. Dr Verrall will be the acting Minister of Conservation, while Peeni Henare will take on the job of acting Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage.