I’m writing this because my friend, my colleague and a mother of 2 with a devoted partner needs our help. Wendy has been kicking cancer’s ass for over 10 years both as a cancer nurse and cancer patient. She was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer in 2006 and received 18 months of gruelling treatment. But this diagnosis convinced her that she wanted to help others! In 2008 after seeing how amazing cancer nurses are, she started uni to become one herself. By 2011 she was working in Cancer Care as a registered nurse and has since helped too many people to count with their own diagnosis and their own battles.
In 2014 disaster struck again, she was once again informed she had cancer. This time she had Stage II bowel cancer. She had surgery which meant time off work and using up her hard earned annual leave for a not so fun holiday which consisted of CT scans and doctors’ appointments rather than sunbaking and cocktails! All of that hard earned holiday time was spent at a hospital, going to hospital or leaving hospital as the patient, not the nurse. Thankfully this diagnosis meant she only needed surgery not chemo, but still 4 weeks of annual leave goes pretty quickly after major bowel surgery.
However, Wendy is the definition of a fighter and was determined to not let this stop her! She was back at work within a couple of weeks, one because she loved her job but also because like everyone she needed the money to get by.
In 2015 she received the terrible news of a 3rd diagnosis. She now had a different type of breast cancer. No chemo but she needed a right mastectomy and hormone treatment. Some might say just a mastectomy and hormones is getting off lightly but it is never ok to “just” go through a body altering procedure like a mastectomy Breasts are not everything but they are part of what makes us women and on top of that the hormone tablets to make it a real emotional roller coaster to make sure we truly feel crazy!
So now its 2017 we’ve had 2 types of breast cancer and bowel cancer and we are finally on the mend. Wendy waited the time she needed to get her reconstructive surgery and get her new boobs (which still look great by the way) and everything was looking good. But tragedy stuck in July 2017 when her bowel cancer returned in her liver. The technical term is stage IV bowel cancer with liver metastasis. She’s started a punishing chemotherapy protocol that means she has chemo that knocks her for six every 2 weeks and just as she gets back on her feet it starts all over again. She’s used all her annual leave all her sick leave and is currently on sickness benefits which help but barely get you by.
Wendy has dedicated her life to helping others fight cancer. Now it’s her time to fight again and it’s time for us to be there for her after she has been for so many others. She’s been an inspiration to the patients she’s treated and sat beside while receiving treatment herself. She’s inspired her co-worker’s with her amazing attitude and F*#$ cancer spirit and she has been a matriarch and inspiration to Micky and her boys putting them first even when she’s struggling. She needs our help now. Every little bit helps and all I want is for her to not stress about her finances and to be able to focus on getting better.