He taught me how to find my inner strength and for that reason, I never really feel alone.
I thought I knew my husband of forty-nine years inside out. Brian wasn’t complicated and always woke up with a smile and an optimistic approach to the new day. He was a calm, happy-go-lucky, friendly person who always tried his best and as a husband and father to our son and daughter, he excelled. I thought I could read him like an open book and anticipate his reaction to the many speed humps on life’s road. At this point in life, I only knew half the man he really was.
His father was a builder who taught him many tricks of the trade, including mechanics. He then qualified as an Electrical Fitter, an occupation with unfortunately hidden dangers. He seemed to be able to turn his hand to anything practical including fixing the car, making life easier for a young family and a wife who couldn’t even change a light bulb.
He was a many-faceted person, sincere, conscientious, and gregarious, and I loved being his wife.
Over the years, he’d had a couple of close calls with his health, so he made a point of enjoying life, including playing his saxophone and spending time with his granddaughters. That is until after a trip to Midland ED in March 2016, when we heard the words no one wants to hear – Asbestos Cancer. This was the beginning of a roller coaster ride where it often felt like everything was out of control. This is when the warrior in him came to the fore.
At our first appointment with the Oncologist at Charlie Gairdner’s, the doctor explained about Chemotherapy treatment and the risks of trials. I will never forget his words – “Bring it on”. Brian was prepared to meet any challenge to try to delay the inevitable. He’d read about Barry Knowles’ seven-year survival and was determined to stare down the monster, which is Mesothelioma.
Over the ensuing twenty months and countless trips to Charlie’s, I watched him cope with many invasive and uncomfortable procedures, which he handled with patience and dignity. My admiration for his strength and resilience grew and grew with every appointment and visit. Even at the end, he was still good-humoured and never complained.
For me, I have peace knowing he must have felt loved and secure as he passed away quietly at home in his own bed. I am also grateful for being with him every step of the way on the Meso journey because during this time, Brian taught me how to find my inner strength and for that reason, I never really feel alone.
Over the years since Brian’s passing, it’s taken time to adjust, but thanks to the support of my family, I’ve leant new things, honed my piano and writing skills and even taken on a fur-baby, Bree, who is great company.
I’m also pleased to support the Reflections team, bringing hope and comfort to others who have gone through what I have been through.
If I could give a word of advice/encouragement to anyone affected by mesothelioma, or any terminal cancer, it would be LIVE YOUR DREAMS.
Ros, wife and caregiver