NAME: Trish Brown
DATE OF BIRTH: 2/4/1971

ABOUT ME:  I grew up in a loving, family oriented environment.  After high school, I started working in office administration and progressed in this area in various roles in industries such as finance, mining and construction.  After my 2012 primary diagnosis I returned to the workforce 3 days a week for a local Podiatry/Physiotherapy practice and loved my job. Since my secondary diagnosis in April 2015 I have not worked due to chemotherapy challenges.  I have started on another type of chemo (oral) recently and hope that the side effects aren’t too bad as I would really like to go back to work in some capacity.  My employers have been wonderfully understanding of my situation and have said that when I’m ready, they will be able to accommodate my coming back to work for whatever hours per week I can manage.  Since my secondary diagnosis my goal has always been to get back to work.  It’s hard to get my head around the fact that I’m going to be on some kind of treatment for the rest of my life but I am getting used to it.  Although I will never feel “well” again, I feel like I’m coming to terms with everything.  My goal of getting back to work is getting closer.

ABOUT MY FAMILY:  I am a married mother of 2.  My husband is extremely supportive of me in every way.  We have a daughter (24) and a son (12).  They are so strong and very thoughtful and understanding of me.  Our daughter has moved back home to be around for support.  It’s been a big adjustment for everyone.  I was the one to be in control of what went on at home ie, shopping, cooking, cleaning etc.  That has shifted as I am unable to do anything physical and am sometimes too tired to cook.  I’m really proud of my family, they’ve really stepped up and rallied around.  I am also fortunate to have support from my extended family and friends.  In some ways this diagnosis has been positive (brings out the best in people).  I’m not going to lie though… some ways this diagnosis has been dreadful.  Getting used to the “new me” isn’t easy.  Coming to terms with the fact that I have a pain management team from palliative care isn’t easy.  Just having the words “palliative care team” in relation to myself isn’t easy.  Realising that my treatment isn’t going to end, ever, was really hard for me to accept.  Grieving for the life I once had and working out how to exist in this new life is an ongoing battle for me.  Knowing that my relationship with my husband is changed forever is confronting.

Becoming a member of this group has been really helpful for me.  It’s comforting to know that there is somewhere that I can come and discuss concerns, fears, medications, treatments etc.  I have formed friendships here that only other members can understand the importance of.  When I talk of the positives that have come from this disease, joining this group is definitely one of them.