It’s that one word that no matter who you are, you know what it means and sure as hell can’t stand it. It is one thing that takes no prisoners and no body is immune from it no matter who you are. It doesn’t care how old you are, how healthy you eat or how hard you train or the fact that you are the nicest person on the planet…
CANCER the word is CANCER….
It is a prick of a thing that effects so many people in so many ways… Even at 28 I have a number of friends and family or friends of friends that have been affected by cancer whether it was them themselves or a loved one around them. I honestly don’t think there would be one person that doesn’t know of someone who has had to go through the roller coaster that it brings.
As some of you may be aware last year my husband lost his step mum Lisa to Cancer at the age of 42 and let me tell you it sucks. 6 months on and it still sucks December was a struggle as it was Lisa’s Birthday as well as Christmas.
I wanted to share with you our journey with the beast it was; I decided that the best way to do this would be to share with you a speech I made late last year at a fundraiser a very good friend of mine held to help raise money for woman’s cancer.
First of all from the bottom of my heart I would like to thank you all for coming tonight not only to support my incredible friend Donna but also for helping raise much needed funds to help end woman’s cancer. When Lisa was first diagnosed with cancer I wanted to help in some way, that is when I came across the Weekend to End Woman’s Cancer; Walk 60kms over two days. I decided I would do it in honour of Lisa and Lisa was so proud and was hoping that she would be able to walk some of it next year. It is with a heavy heart that we are now doing next years walk in memory of Lisa.
Im going to be honest when Donna asked me to say something tonight I didn’t think it was going to be so hard to put into words. I have spent hours trying to put together the perfect speech that would do Lisa justice and ultimately explain to those that never got the chance to meet her how much of an incredible soul she was and always will be. The truth is no matter what I say could ever depict Lisa in a bad light, she was the life of the party, she could light up a room with her infectious smile and never took a bad photo ever. Lisa was one of those rare gems that never had a bad bone in her body, she never judged anyone, or said a bad word or gossiped about anyone everything was shrugged off with “it will be right darl’.
For those that don’t know, Lisa is my husbands step mum or how I like to refer to her as my bonus extra mother in law. In May 2014 at the age of 41 Lisa’s world and ours as we knew it was about to change forever. What was originally thought to be a gym injury turned into a living nightmare. Lisa was told that she had breast cancer. At first Drs were very hopeful we were told that due to her age and her health worst case she Lisa would have to have a mastectomy and some treatment and then would be on her way back to full health. During that time even that was hard to hear but looking back now that would have been a great outcome. However Drs were wrong when all tests came back it was far worse stage 4 breast cancer and in her bones.
Lisa was the epitome of strength and courage and to her credit Lisa never let cancer define her. Even on the darkest days Lisa had hope and a will to fight. It wasn’t until after Lisa’s passing that we were told that she wasn’t expected to see Christmas last year. For those that don’t know me; My husband and I only got married in April of this year and Lisa was adamant that she was going to be there no matter what. That much so that Lisa spent the day before our wedding at hospital getting as much pain relief as possible and when her and Paul arrived at the estate that night we were greeted with her biggest smile. The next day was an incredible and precious day. Lisa looked like an absolute princess and if you didn’t know you would have never thought that she was fighting her biggest fight. Even to this day when wedding guests see us the first thing they say is “But how? She looked so good at your wedding”.
As we all know life gets busy as much as we spoke to Lisa in the lead up to her passing she was always so positive that we never realised how close the time was coming. Brendan and I arrived home from our honeymoon on the Tuesday night by Thursday morning we got a call to say that Lisa was in hospital for pain management. It wasn’t until Thursday night that we learnt that she in fact was in palliative care. I text Lisa asking is she wanted anything as we were heading down Friday morning. My text back read “Good morning lovely hope its not too early have had a good sleep so full of beans at the moment. Just some trashy magazines would be great please not so good on the food just yet but Paul has cleared out vending machines anyway, so looking forward to seeing you!!!”
When we arrived I will admit it was hard, for the first time Lisa looked like a cancer patient. They had just been given news to say things weren’t looking great but still Lisa was still so positive. Saturday Lisa wasn’t great but by Sunday she had improved and was sitting up and laughing. We decided to head home as I was starting a new possible job and Lisa was so excited for me. We decided that we would be back Friday. Monday at school I got a call from Brendan to say that we had to go back now to say our goodbyes as Lisa had taken a turn for the worst. The next 36 hours were the toughest hours as we sat by Lisa’s side as she fought her biggest fight still with manners in tact to the very end because that was Lisa. On Tuesday 9th June Lisa stopped fighting and was finally at peace and in no pain.
To this day nearly 3 months on it doesn’t seem real maybe its because she is still such a big part of our lives and we talk about her everyday. Our son who is just over two talks to her picture on the fridge all the time. Life goes on and I get that we all do, it’s when you actually stop and be still that the reality comes flooding back and tears fill our eyes.
As a family we feel that if we can help raise much needed funds for woman’s cancer then that is one sister, friend, mother, aunt or grandmother we have helped from going through the pain that Lisa went through. As well as saving a family from going through the hurt and pain that we and a lot of other families have gone through.
From the bottom of my heart thank you all very much and I hope you all have an incredible night. I know I’m looking forward to it.”
7 months on and it still at times doesn’t seem real, sometimes I think that when we go down she will be there smiling greeting us at the door, or I expect to receive a text from her full of her love heart and star emojis. As I said in my speech life goes on and it’s when you hit milestones or exciting news that the reality of it slaps you in the face. Brendan and I got the news just over 2 months after Lisa’s passing that we were expecting baby number 2 it was a bitter sweet moment and still is as we get closer to peanuts arrival the reality of him not ever meeting Lisa becomes more of a reality. Don’t get me wrong he will know so much about her but its moments like these; the “firsts” of everything ,Birthdays, Christmas etc that sting just that little bit more.
My plan was to complete the 60km walk this year in memory of Lisa however with the walk being 3 weeks out from when peanut is due I don’t think I will be walking too far. However Brendan will be walking along with some friends and family I hope to walk little bits of it along the way. The aim is o raise as much needed funds for woman cancer so I have attached the link to Brendans’ fundraising page and ask that if you can please donate no matter how big or small every little bit counts to helping raise money to end such a disease sooner rather than later.
To donate please follow the link: http://pr16.endcancer.org.au/site/TR/Events/Perth2016?px=1243076&pg=personal&fr_id=1190
To visit Donnas business page please follow the following link: https://www.facebook.com/Donna-Maree-Psychic-Medium-1517211271898637/?fref=ts