In this together! Norma was an inaugural member of the Reflections support network. This is her story…
My name is Norma and I was diagnosed with mesothelioma in December 2013. My exposure to asbestos was anywhere between 30 to 50 years ago.
When given the diagnosis, I knew what it was as a family member also had it, but that didn’t make it any less scary. I was 73, had my faith, strong family support and a loving community, so made the decision to accept what was to come.
I had chemo during 2013 and the tumour became dormant. In 2015, it became active again so I opted for more chemo. Chemo is not very pleasant, but it certainly helped me. At present, I am having no treatment, but need my lung drained every 7 to 8 weeks.
I have a good oncologist who I have confidence in, and a supportive GP.
John, my husband, has been with me all the way on this journey. It has not always been easy for him, to take over running the home and cranky me!
Our 5 children, 5 in-laws and 15 grandchildren have been wonderful, helpful, supportive and loving to both John and myself.
In 2014, a group of us got together and, under Barry’s Knowles’ instigation, decided to start meeting regularly. We initially met by word-of-mouth for morning tea. This has developed into a once-a-month gathering, and all agree that it is a great support – a ‘family’ who all have the same disease in common.
Although sickness is no fun, I can see the blessings I have been given. I don’t know exactly what lies ahead or how long I have, but for now I thank the Lord for Faith, Family, Friends and Flowers.
Norma (July 2017)
Norma was given a 6-month prognosis but survived almost 6 years, passing in December 2018. She is deeply missed by all who knew and loved her. Her legacy lives on through the support network she was so proactive in and passionate about.BACK TO NEWS