Choosing life in the last battle

Choosing life in the last battle. Let’s give it our all for Bec.

It’s been nearly a month since our gorgeous Bec was quite suddenly taken off immunotherapy treatment for cancer. Our hope was ripped away with it; because it was actually working. 


We love her so much. Bec has one final choice in this battle. We can prove there’s still HOPE. This is our last attempt to save my daughter’s life, the mother of my grandson, the light in so many of our hearts. 


The cost of the full treatment if we can get her back into it - not including the costs of being an heroic, single, homeschooling mum of a growing and very energetic boy  - are beyond what anyone; years into their cancer journey, can face alone.


In 2020, she was told she had less than 12 months to live, and we’ve been cherishing every moment like it’s stolen, moments we’ve won back, because her treatment was working!


With chemo and surgery not options, we’re at a fork in the road:


We get Bec back on the immunotherapy treatment that was working as quickly as possible (the cost to her is $50,000, just for the treatment)
Bec’s only choice becomes the painful and defining route of palliative radiation 
(the only option covered by Medicare) 

Living in developing countries helping children to learn, Bec was diagnosed with an extremely rare terminal cancer, Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma (ACC) in 2016. She kept working because she had to, until it no longer became viable, resettling in Western Australia for treatment. 


She dreams of returning to helping children and to working while guiding her own son (as she still does as she endures this illness) to find joy in his life as they navigate his spectrum disorder. It hurts to write this, because it’s our dream to see her and Isaac return to that life too. 



We can’t have this last flame of hope extinguished. We’ve realised we’re looking at $50,000 just for the treatment. As her mother, there are so many things I want for my daughter.  


At this stage in our lives, it’s a painful reality to voice this last choice as what I want for my daughter, what I want to help her with the most. I want to see Bec at least get started, to have the money ready to go as soon as possible, so that when she next sees her oncologist and radiation oncologist, she will be able to choose to return to immunotherapy. 


We are letting go of the things that won’t matter in the long run. We are picking our battles - and getting Bec back on this treatment as quickly as possible is a battle we’ve picked. Her life is worth it, our time together is worth it, and Isaac needs her.


“Being diagnosed with cancer has made me realise that it’s not guaranteed I’ll see Isaac grow up,” Bec said in a piece she wrote in HoneyKids, about her journey. 


Bec’s ridden every single wave cancer has thrown at her (you’ll see the many, many hurdles she’s overcome below) with a strength her friends and family are in constant awe of. She’s cherishing every moment, and we are too. 


Time is not on our side here. We have to join her in arms, and throw everything we’ve got at this, the final battle. Let’s keep the cancer at bay, for Bec, for Isaac. We can help her to choose the option we know will prolong her life and keep her with us for as long as she can shine her light on this Earth, loved and held in our arms.


It's the end of the line of the final journey as we approach her final days, we want Bec to know: 


We’ve got you babe.





Bec's cancer time line:

 
June 2016 - Diagnosed with ACC in the jaw and sinus cavity at 39 yrs old. Surgery to remove one third of jaw bone and palate.
 
July 2016 - 6 weeks of radiation to the head.
 
September 2016 - Diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (breast cancer), unrelated to ACC. Surgery to remove 3 breast tumours and lymph nodes.
 
October 2016 - Chemo for months. Hospitalised numerous times with chemo complications. After chemo, 6 weeks of daily radiation treatments for breast cancer.
 
February 2019 - Lung metastasis surgically removed. Major surgery which took her a long time to be able to stand up and walk again. Two pneumothorax (collapsed lungs) because of surgery.
 
September 2020 - An MRI showed a 3cm ACC tumour behind Bec's eye.
 
February 2021 - Started immunotherapy trial.
 
February 2022 - Taken off immunotherapy trial because of increased eye symptoms
 

About ACC.
ACC is rare and may account for up to a quarter of salivary gland malignancies. Around 330 Australians are diagnosed with a salivary gland cancer each year (this is 1.2 cases per 100,000 people). Estimates of 0.3 to 0.5 cases per 100,000 people each year have been reported for ACC in other countries. (cancercouncil.com.au)
 
There is no known cause of ACC.
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
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Organizer and beneficiary

Davina Diggelman
Organizer
Bibaringa SA
Rebecca McQueen
Beneficiary

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