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  • Norma’s Story

    January 2018

    Norma’s own pain and suffering is set aside as she supports fellow mesothelioma sufferers month by month. This is Norma’s story….

    My name is Norma Ryan and I have had mesothelioma for 5 years. When given the diagnosis, although I knew what it meant as a family member also had it, 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. 

    During 2013 I had chemo then the tumour became dormant. In 2015 when it became active again, I had further treatment. Chemo is not very pleasant but if you can persist with it, it certainly helped me. At present I am having no treatment, but need my lung drained every week. 

    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 dealing with cranky me!

    Our five children, five in-laws and 15 grandchildren have been wonderful, helpful, supportive and loving to both John and myself.

    In 2013, a support group was set up by Barry Knowles, the author of Reflections Through Reality and a fellow sufferer. We met mainly by word-of-mouth and have morning tea in our homes once a month. All agree it has been a great support to share this journey as a ‘family’.   

    Although sickness is no fun, I can see the blessings I have been given and I have no crystal ball to tell how my future will be or for how long, but for now I can only thank the Lord for Faith, Family, Friends and Flowers.


    If you would like to connect with people who understand the mesothelioma journey or find out more about supporting the work Reflections does for the community, complete this form and someone will be in touch.