15 May 1950 – 23 January 2010
BEGINNING OF JOURNEY
Diagnosed with breast cancer 1993 – mastectomy – chemotherapy – reconstruction.
DIAGNOSIS OF SECONDARIES
I am a secondary English teacher. Predominantly a home maker while Ben and Kate were pre-school – always a community volunteer, (kindergarten, preschool, primary and secondary school committees) – some casual work tutoring, supply teaching.
Returned to full-time teaching 1991 – after cancer diagnosed in next 7 years took a total of 2 years sick leave while attempting to return to full-time work ( only part-time work offered was in a rehabilitation year) before finally resigning in 1999.
1999 2001 home maker and community volunteer.
2002 – began casual work as a teacher of English as a second language.
Plan to return to supply work with a view to finding permanent part-time work as an english teacher – also working as a volunteer in Australian Red Cross office to learn office skills.
STATE OF HEALTH
tiredness debilitating at times – pacing myself as a new skill being learnt! – learning to ask family and friends for support and assistance without feeling guilty.
UPDATE TO STORY
- advance in breast cancer was small lesion in right lung – this was eventually controlled by Femara – despite this Pete, Kate and I travelled to USA where our son, Ben, was on Rotary Youth Exchange in Eagle Pass, Texas
- lost 12 kilos and had a troublesome cough before a lesion in my chest and extensive bone metastases were found – treated by chemotherapy (CMF again), a daily dose of Aromasin and monthly infusions of Zometa
- travelled to Canada where our daughter, Kate, was on a study exchange from University of Qld – just prior to Christmas flew to Brisbane for extensive radiation for pain relief
- cancer progressed to liver but chemotherapy only started in October (AC) – finished March 2009 – scans pending
- fortunate to be only suffering discomfort and some limitation and slowing of movement from bone metastases
- living with realistic positivity
- casual work on hold for the moment
- husband and I are “empty nesters” now, and are doing as he says “the best we can”, which includes often taking advantage of cheap airfares to escape for “adventures”!