This year has been a year of upheavals, fresh starts, happy travels and a very sad goodbye.

Just before Christmas 2014 I decided it was time to move on. Time to sell the family home that had belonged to my grandparents. I never envisioned leaving, thought I would be there forever. This house now held so many memories and secrets. Good and bad. It was too big for just me and it needed too much work. With my fibromyalgia and CFS the garden and yard were difficult for me to maintain. And to be honest the bad memories, although fewer than the good, were a lot fresher in my mind. The house sold 5 days before Christmas. Time for a fresh start.

On Valentine’s Day, I moved into an easy to maintain 3 bedroom villa home. Less than 5 minutes walk to a beautiful lake and a 3 minute drive to beautiful beaches and coastline. Take into account it was still only 10 mins from work in one direction and from my family in the other, it was perfect.

As I turn 50 at the end of this year I decided I would take myself on a holiday, to a beautiful place to share with a beautiful person. That person is my special human that I shared Sugarloaf Rock with. But I never dreamt that so much would happen between February and August.

My youngest son had moved interstate with his dad, so visits were now monthly instead of fortnightly, this took a bit of getting use to.

Just prior to Christmas the company I had worked for for nearly 10 years changed ownership. It was a time of missing the old and being very unsure of the new. This is still an ongoing work in progress and we are all, both owners and staff on a new learning path together. Ultimately the winners will be our customers…. You have to remember change isn’t always good but it is necessary for growth.

My dad, aged 70 was unwell. As a family we knew he was unwell for around 12 months. However, despite being sent for scans, blood work and to different specialists they couldn’t come up with a cause. He underwent 2 operations between March and May and a steady decline followed over the following 8 weeks. He was in constant pain, unable to eat, mainly because of the difficulty he had in swallowing. Mum and dad had discussed the possibility of him having cancer…….Remember the Drs couldn’t find anything, but there aren’t many diseases that have you losing 20 kg over 12 months without trying. We knew there was something terribly wrong.

On May 26th he never got out of bed and was hardly awake. As you can imagine this was extremely frightening for my mum. She had a Drs appointment the following day for herself and decided to take dad with her. She had to help him to and from the house and car to do this. The Dr took one look at dad and sent him straight to hospital. This was May 27th.

Several hours in emergency, lots of questions and tests and dad was admitted. The following morning he was given some results that he chose to keep to himself fit 24 hours as both mum, my daughter and the twins were coming in and he didn’t want to upset them.

The next day we found out he had a mass at the base of his skull. Long story short within  4 days we knew he had inoperable stage 4 cancer that encompassed the base of his skull, under his ear onto his cheek and down the side of his neck and around to the right side of his throat. How does this get missed for over 12 months? This is a question that we are still asking. A PET scan also showed it was in his brain. The main issue was he had a tumor wrapped around his corotid artery and that was what made him a ticking time bomb.

Still in hospital on Friday June 12th he had a turn, dizzy and pale, it passed. Around an hour later he had another much worse and very frightening. It was after this turn they realized his corotid artery was starting to bleed. On the Saturday we all trickled in to see him as no one knew what lay ahead. He was very tired and much weaker than he’d been. The Drs had decided to try a massive dose of radiation the next day to try and release some of the pressure on his artery. This was to happen on the Sunday, however, dad had another massive bleed and it was unable to be done.

And so began the sad goodbye.


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