12 Months on: My Wife's Perspective.
As promised my beautiful wife is writing this entry from her thoughts and feelings of the last 12 months.
Also great win by my Mighty Hawks.....Had to add this in. Went to the game and had an amazing time. Thanks.
Well one year ago today our life as we knew it changed forever. When Nathan received a phone all from his oncologist asking him to come in two days early, my heart sank. My suspicions were confirmed. In the lead up to this scan, Nathan hadn't been himself and I remember thinking to myself if these next scans were clear, he was going to cop an earful from myself about his behaviour. To my horror, the scans revealed four brain tumours in the frontal lobe of his brain (the area controlling behaviour), which explained his changes in behaviour.....and meant I couldn't yell at him!!!!!
In the proceeding one to two months, life was incredibly hard. To see Nathan go from a fit and healthy husband and dad, to someone who lost control of his body in just a matter of days, was frightening. One of his tumours bled and this resulted in Nathan losing control of one side of his body. He lost vision, he couldn't move his arm or leg, he lost all independence. This meant he couldn't walk, feed himself, bathe himself or even toilet himself. Just days before he was riding 100km+ and now this. It was heartbreaking. His zest for life had vanished...what saddened me most was that he even stopped asking how our beautiful daughters were. I knew we were in a bad place and we had a long road ahead of us to get through it.
I was torn. I wanted to be with the love of my life, the man of my dreams and be there to help him through this extremely tough time, and for the majority of this time I was. However, at home were our three gorgeous girls, then, five, three and one, wondering why their daddy was in hospital for so long and why their mummy wasn't around for them either. Our family and friends were amazingly supportive and helped us out in hundreds of ways. I was in the hospital the majority of the day, then I'd come home to have dinner with the girls and get them to bed, then I was back in the hospital once they were asleep. I was exhausted, running on empty, but I wasn't the one lying in hospital with this horrible disease, so I had it easy!
Two brain surgeries later and things began to improve. I began to see that fight and drive that Nathan is famous for come back into him. Day by day his movement returned....and thankfully his ability to carry out everyday tasks. His ability to show emotion and interest in the people he loves most also began to return which was also a huge relief. Ariella, Kalita and Zahlia were able to interact with their daddy again...everyone was much happier.
Over the next month Nathan fought hard and recovered well and at last he came home. We were all so relieved and happy to have daddy home and enjoyed every moment together....until we suffered another blow when we found out Nathan also had a bowel tumour. So it was back into hospital and surgery again. I felt like this was spiralling out of control, out of our control. Melanoma is a horrid thing, but again Nathan fought hard and before we knew it Nathan was back home again.
We have Dabrafanib to thank for being here twelve months later. This drug is a miracle drug. I do believe though that it would not be working as effectively as it is without the strength and determination of Nath. Despite what he has been through, he is still the fittest person i know. To look at him all you see is a fit, motivated, determined and healthy looking 38 year old father and husband. We, look like a normal family going about our normal lives.
These past twelve months have been the worst of my life, but it hasn't been all bad. Yes we have been dealt an horrendous blow in our lives, no words can really describe how unfair it is for Nath to have stage 4 metastatic melanoma. However, it has taught us some valuable lessons in life and bought us a lot closer to many people. There really is no need to worry about the little things that bother us. We need not worry about what may happen in the future, because it may never happen. We need to appreciate everything and everyone in life. Live life for today as every second that you spend with the people that you love is so so precious and should be appreciated.
We recently returned from a magical holiday in Palm Cove. It was the perfect example of living in the moment and enjoying every moment with the people that you love. Last weekend, Nath's beloved Hawks won the AFL Grand Final. This time last year, the Hawks lost the Grand Final and the day after we had some devastating news. This year the Hawks won, it's an omen I hope for a good year ahead. A positive, healthy attitude is the key to success...success in living life to the full and for longevity. We are going to beat this because Nathan is the most determined, motivated person I know. Cancer has picked the wrong person to reside in. My husband, my love of my life and my children's daddy will fight this little sucker out of his body. He has done an amazing job up until now, I am so proud of everything that he has achieved in life, but especially in these last 12 months. I love you very much as do your beautiful girls, Ariella, Kalita and Zahlia.
In a word, melanoma sucks. Live each day like its your last, hug your loved ones and please make sure you put some sunscreen on yourself, and your children.