Kindness, care, comfort and support

'Once finding me crying in the shower, he dried me and put me to bed'

My husband accompanied me to medical appointments, scans, chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions, supported my decision to have a double mastectomy and took over household duties. Once finding me crying in the shower, he dried me and put me to bed like a baby.

My beautiful girls, 26 and 21, gave me courage, hugged me if I cried and brought flowers or chocolates.

My mother, 86, living with us and physically frail, offered financial support and daily held my hand telling me I was her little heroine. Sadly my dad, in a nursing home with dementia, was oblivious to my illness.

My two terrific stepchildren phoned often from Sydney, and visited and sent flowers. Interstate relatives and friends visited bringing flowers, medals and prayers.

Wonderful girls I have known since we started school together, cooked, cleaned or ironed. One cut my hair when it started to fall out and we cried together as it lay on the floor in clumps. She then arrived with a PINK orchid.

Another close friend brought cakes and quiches, drove my mother to her medical appointments, and even slept over to care for her so I could have a night away. One friend brought beautiful French soap and took me to lunch.

One neighbour cooked chicken soup during chemo and another brought soap, hand cream and towels. Girls from work brought lunches. One visited weekly, once bringing a lovely PINK bedjacket. Friends' family members prayed and sent cards.

My ex-husband and his family sent flowers and gifts. Other friends brought mild shampoo for my chemo scalp and mouthwash for ulcers. My daughter's little pupils made cards and gifts. Another teacher often sent home cakes. My younger daughter's boyfriend brought flowers, hugged me each time he came and made me laugh. His parents gave me a beautiful PINK nightie and often brought my favourite magazines. My daughters' friends regularly arrived with flowers and meals and one organised a PINK morning tea at my home in October.

I became good friends with a kindred spirit in hospital. We had lumpectomies and mastectomies on the same day, then endured chemo and radiation together. We talked daily, comparing notes - giving each other strength and courage.

I am so overwhelmed and grateful for the kindness, care, comfort and support I have received during the last 12 months.

--Anne


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