Wednesday, 14 May 2014

My Husband is living with Cancer

This is a statement I never thought I would ever have to say. My Husband is living with Cancer!
Why? Because he is the person you see out running every day; that makes fitness a priority even if he doesn't feel like putting in the hard yards. He has never smoked, and I mean anything. Never done recreational drugs, has always eaten well and in the last few years had pretty much stopped drinking alcohol due to an allergic reaction to something in most things that he tried, and giving up an occasional beer has been no fun for him at all. So he is the last person that anyone who even remotely knows him would expect to get sick, let alone get cancer.

as early as March this year Bren was experiencing pain in his leg,
seen in this pic with a bandage around it, it was 3 more months before he
would find out that he was living with cancer.

It was something I never expected either; because until you are sitting in the middle of the cancer paddock yourself, or with a loved one, no matter how many others you have watched sit there before you, you can’t truly contemplate what cancer really looks like. You think you have a picture in your mind and that picture was not my husband, nor was it my many friends, or friends of friends who have known that paddock all to well…not one of them have the face of cancer that I had imagined before they found themselves smack bang in the middle of the paddock. Not one of them appeared to live the lifestyle that could make them seriously ill. But as we were about to find out the face of cancer like most debilitating or life threatening diseases, is simply a face just like yours and mine.
It didn’t take long to realise; what I had thought a thousand times but probably never truly let sink in until my family was affected, is that cancer is indiscriminate! It will strike you down no matter who you are. Being strong, fit and in his prime was no deterrent … Brendan was as easy a target as the young, the elderly and anyone in between.

But please, please don’t let this fact be a reason to throw your hands up in the air and say…well being fit and super health conscious didn’t help Brendan, so why bother. Because it has helped more than I could possibly explain here. Having a strong body and mind will help him to withstand an incredibly difficult treatment plan week after week; that we expect to make him well again, and will most definitely be a massive advantage in bringing about a speedier recovery.

The body we have is it! It has to carry around the most precious cargo there is …you, for the rest of your life. It deserves the best treatment you can possibly give it. Fresh food, fresh air, peace, happiness and yep exercise, even if it’s just gentle exercise….make it consistent.
As it turns out the other advantage of Brendan’s level of fitness prior to getting sick was that if he hadn’t been doing regular training, if he had been a bit of a couch potato, he possibly may not have found the tumour, as it was through running and doing weight work that we think he may have cracked the bone where the tumour had compromised it, leading to finding the cancer before it had spread throughout his body.

It was weeks of physio appointments with no answers, that lead to doctors appointments that ended up with bone scans then an MRI that landed us in  [our local orthopedic surgeon] Dr Whites Forster Rooms, where we would get the first indication that what Brendan had was serious. It was an unseasonably warmish day in June when we were called back to his office, Brendan had taken the call at a VW friends funeral who had passed from cancer. Dr White had met us in his rooms between surgeries to tell us in person that the MRI looked "nasty" and he was sending us to Dr Stalley at Lifehouse in Sydney, one of the countries leading Orthopedic Surgeons and the Head of Orthopedics at RPA. That was the day we knew that this was very serious and that our lives for better or worse would never be the same again!

So I guess what I am trying to say is this, we have no idea what tomorrow will bring, so it is a wise thing to look after yourself mind, body and spirit the best you can today… as then you have a far better chance at being ready for anything. No matter what you find around that corner!

The fb album link below is full of pictures of my family in the March before Brendan's diagnosis end of  June. This is us sitting in the middle of the cancer paddock...we just don't know it yet, we were already a family living with cancer....this is what cancer looks like!

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