The doctors say I have a few weeks to live, if radiation is successful that might buy me a few more months. I’m not giving up because I have too much to live for and there is always hope of getting into an experimental drug trial but I still have to prepare for the worst.
I’m a mum to four school-age kids… Cyren, Blenheim, Tenby and Wardie and a wife to Rob.
I am really, really afraid of what comes next for me but even more afraid of what will happen to my family.
I’m not afraid that cancer can take our eternal love or commitment to each other but it has stolen our physical and mental health along with our financial stability.
- We are lucky enough to have a nice family home that the kids all grew up in for 15 years but now the bank actually owns more than 100% of it (yes that is possible!) and they won’t lend us any more money
- We have a car and a motorhome project but the we owe more to the bank than what they are worth
- Both of our superannuation accounts were paid out years ago
- I’ve been unable to get life insurance because of my BRACA1 breast cancer gene
Cancer is going to leave Rob and the kids wifeless and motherless but it’s also going to leave them a lifetime of debt. Debt from direct medical expenses from 7 years of treatment but also the costs you can’t see. The credit cards and the overwhelming mortgage that has built up because I’ve been unable to work and Rob hasn’t been able to pursue his I.T career (needing to be close to home for kids and sick wife).
PUTTING MY BREAST FOOT FORWARD
I hate being a charity case, I guess everyone does. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever written. I know there are less fortunate people than us and I hope you can help them too but I can’t give my family a wife and a mum anymore and I can’t shuffle off without at least trying to provide something for them. Some way to pay a few more medical bills, the mortgage for a few months, some credit cards, my crazy, final bucket list plan (more below) and if there’s anything left over then something for the kids to give them a start in life, an education fund or a starter car.
MY BOOBS ARE FAKE, MY REAL ONES TRIED TO KILL ME
7 years ago (Feb 2011) I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer - stage 3. I went through treatment bilateral mastectomy, chemo and radiation, reconstruction and hyperbaric treatment due to complications. This took 3 years to complete and we thought I was going to be fine
A few problems began and in Sept 2015 we found out that the cancer had not been killed but had continued to spread to all the lymph nodes in my chest, neck and shoulders. I had to be hit hard this time. Chemo followed by a combination of chemo and 2 treatments of radiation a day. I was told I would only have about 3 years but by some miracle …
I went into remission. Life was going great and I thought I had beaten it.
KEEPING MY SENSE OF TUMOUR
A few weeks ago I started getting double-vision, dizziness and nausea. Tests were done and I discovered that I now have 6 tumours in my brain. They cannot operate because of the size and locations. Radiation therapy might give me a couple more months. I can’t drive, or work or cook or think properly. It’s taken me days to write these few paragraphs.
THANKS FOR THE MAMMORIES
My husband and I named our 4 beautiful children after places we had visited and loved in the UK when we did a overseas working holiday before starting our family. We were driving into a town called Cirencester when we both saw the name of the sign, looked at each other and said exactly the same thing at the same time ‘oh that’s a pretty name’. We weren’t even pregnant then but we already knew the name of our first child.
Cyren (my 17 year old named after Cirencester), Blenheim 15 named after Blenheim Palace, Tenby 13 named after the Welsh village and Wardour (11) named after Old Wardour Castle) were all born not long after returning to Australia. I have been promising the kids I would take them to their namesake places and would love get a family photo in each place but the last 7 years medical treatment and emotional turmoil has left us bankrupt.
I am not allowed to travel until after the radiation treatment (the pressurized environment will kill me) but there may be a brief window of opportunity for a week after that. I’d just love the opportunity to have one last positive memory for my kids to cherish.
Love from Sue and family
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