Emma's journey

Let me introduce you to Emma Brewer. Emma is 33 years old and a mother of three beautiful children aged 1, 5 and 15. She is also a wife to an amazing husband Andy. She is a beautiful, kind and caring lady who is feeling very modest about this but I know Emma is the first to help anyone out and this is me trying to do something for her.

I was lucky enough to first meet Emma in our late teens/ early 20’s through a mutual friend. My first impressions were what an amazing dancer (rather jealous of this) and how she just lit up any room. She also has a dry but infectious sense of humour. We didn’t see each other for a while but I was fortunate enough to marry her husband’s brother and now have the pleasure of calling her my sister in law.

In August 2014 Emma’s bowel habit changed and was experiencing stomach cramps. The GP felt this was IBS. Emma continued to see her GP as she was still experiencing pains and further symptoms. So Emma was tested for thyroid problems, had monthly blood tests and finally had a colposcopy on the 8th October 2014. Emma was told there and then that there was a tumour the size of a cauliflower and that they had taken biopsies. Emma was called back to hospital the following day where she was told she had bowel cancer. Emma had CT and MRI scan the following week and on the 22nd October 2014 she was told that the cancer had spread to her ovaries and uterus and was stage 4. The tumour was too large to operate on so the plan of action would be for chemotherapy to shrink it and then operate. Emma despite this decided to “shake it off” and continue working and being wife and mother.

Emma was taken into hospital in agony shortly after and had to have a stoma bag as part of her bowel had ruptured, devastating news for a 33 year old woman. But Emma wouldn’t let that beat her. It still amazes me she lived with that pain until it got to that point.

Emma started chemotherapy the week before Christmas. It was an intense treatment. Emma was really poorly. The side effects were terrible. Emma couldn’t drink or touch anything cold. Emma spent Christmas with her family at home but slept the majority of this. Emma was taken into hospital after Christmas for dehydration.

The oncologist changed the treatment routine to try and lessen the side effects but this now means Emma has chemotherapy every fortnight. Emma still vomits and feels the cold.

Emma has had to stop going to work. She works in pharmacists, so cannot be near poorly people. Her children and husband have had to have flu injections to make sure they don’t make her sick. Her husband has had to limit his work to care for Emma and their children.

This awful disease has affected everyone that knows Emma but also her children. She has was unable to pick up the baby after her surgery, falls asleep a lot and not been able to take her 5 year old to school. Her son is currently studying for his exams.

So the reason I am setting this up is Emma has been told she isn’t going to get any better. She will continue to have chemotherapy and prevent the cancer spreading further.

Not only Emma but her children need beautiful memories to remember her by that are going to outweigh the days when she is sick. Emma has been happy to live a life with no extravagance. However her dream was to marry Andy in Vegas but with a family to support this was changed to a small family affair. Emma now wishes she had followed this dream. I am asking you all to please find it in your hearts to help this beautiful woman to fulfil this dream. How magical would it be for her children to see the love their parents have for each other, in sickness and in health, and renew their wedding vows in Vegas.

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Maria Brewer 
Waterlooville, South East England, United Kingdom
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