Monday, 23 March 2015
Tuesday 24th: March 2015 ... a curative solution
It has been an incredibly busy two weeks since our visit to Sydney for Brendan’s 3 month check up. In brief; we found ourselves back at Lifehouse and the QE Building of RPA on Wednesday last week where Brendan had an appointment with Dr Stalleys registra Dr Panos, followed by a PET Scan Thursday morning to determine what the lump in his leg was. As we sat with our Oncologist Dr Viv; on Thursday afternoon to reassess pain management until the lump could be removed, the results came through and as most of us know it was determined that it was in fact the re-occurrence of the original disease.
With his usual calm and compassionate manner Bren’s oncologist told us the news. He then told us the most possible course of action. Although we both suspected what that would be; when the doctor, as gently as he possibly could, suggest a likely option would be limb removal, the wind and everything else drained from both my husband and I. It was shocking, surreal and most likely.
With his usual strength and grace Brendan took a minute and then gathered himself, he was offered emergency admittance to RPA to manage his pain; but DR Viv assured him he could manage it for him at home if he preferred. That is what he preferred; he wanted to get home to the kids. We had to let them know what was happening and help them to understand.
On the Friday; after hearing the worst news of his life the day before; Brendan’s work colleagues had organised a shave for a mate day that was attended by his mates, family who could be there, friends and our ever supportive community in general. They will never know how this act of kindness lifted him at a time he needed it most. So much good went on that day that I will tell you about it more fully at another time. Our gratitude is immense.
Fast forward to Saturday just gone and it was late in the afternoon; thankfully our kids were at a friend’s house swimming and having fun when Dr Stalley rang to confirm what we already knew, they feel that what they term the most curative course of action for Brendan now would be limb removal.
Of course it was said that our choice to seek a second opinion would be supported; with all files made available and sent to wherever need be. Time though is most definitely of the essence. Dr Stalley gave Bren his personal mobile number so that there would be no delay if his decision was made to go ahead; the ball was now in our court. Brendan had the most unimaginable, heart wrenching decision to make. The call to give the go ahead to have his leg removed was the hardest thing he has ever had to think about, never mind do. But he did on Monday, with more courage and strength that I thought possible.
Now the hardest thing of all was still to come; telling his babies what was about to happen next. After they had spent Sunday morning with Aunty Deb and Uncle Andy, Luca, Tyler and my Mum & Dad; so we could break the news to Bren's Mum & Dad, they came home and played with their friends in the street, we then called them inside earlier than usual to let them know the plan. We had told them Dad losing his leg was a possibility on the Friday night and they had both cried their little hearts out. Now as we went on to confirm it with them I am sure Brendan’s heart was pounding out of his chest, just like mine.
As soon as Bren told them; Bades threw his arms around him and sobbed into his chest not letting Dad go for a second; Tyz was kneeling at her dads feet and leaning on me and she looked up at him and said “you know what Dad; I’m not going to be scared of rollercoaster’s any more!” And that was it, we where through the first hard part.
We are continuing to keep as much laughter going in the house as possible and it seems to be working. The kids came home from school yesterday and at some point between the four of us the first one legged jokes surfaced which had us all in fits of laughter. For Bren and I, it may have been on the outside only, but we know how we manage to get through this next challenge as adults will guide how our kids get through it too…so we will add all of the laughter we can.
We feel very grateful not to be going through this alone, we are an unbeatable husband and wife team who are lifted up by the strength of our children, family, friends, colleagues and community.
Get ready to roll #teambrendanm ... we have some ar#e kickin' to do!