I love to brag about my gorgeous girl, my life as a teacher and the wonderful things my darling husband does that amuse and amaze me everyday. Please comment if something appeals to you, amuses you or inspires you.

Friday, March 30, 2012

A letter to another mother, wife, friend.

Dear Friend,

You sound busy with your beautiful family! I love to read about families and everyday challenges and being able to share just a little of my own life experience with others. So, here’s a little of my story.

I am blessed to be married to an amazing man, Dan, and we have a beautiful, amazing 5, soon to be 6 year old daughter, Isabella.

We are happily married and live a fairly ordinary day to day life, along with the usual challenges of 2 full time working parents raising a child.

I am a prep teacher (full time), and have been teaching for 25 years now. I love it and find it exciting and everyday I laugh out loud at the things kids say to make me realise how precious and wonderful they are.

Dan is a production manager in a glass factory.

Let’s go back a little now.

I lost my mother to cancer when I was 18 and she was 39, that was 1984. It was a relatively short illness with her falling ill and passing away in a space of 6 months. I was incredibly close to my mother, Robyn, I loved her incredible joy of life! My sister, Shelley was 14 at the time and my older brother was living away at the Sunshine Coast living the life of a beach bum...good on him!

My Dad was devastated at the loss of my mother and so I took on a lot of responsibility at this time. I was also halfway through my teaching Diploma at college.

Dad tried to escape his sadness by leaving us to travel the country so I moved out with my little sister and we started to become very independent young women. We were still living together when Shelley was diagnosed in 1995 with aggressive Cervical Cancer at 25, I was just celebrating my 30th birthday and had returned to Uni to complete my B.Ed.

I cared for Shelley through the first 2 years of her illness and she moved into remission during this time, met an amazing man, moved to Sydney and they got married ready to live happily ever after. I went OS for 3 months on Long Service leave for some RnR. I was transferred to Bundaberg to teach in 2001 and it was during this first year there that Shelley fell ill again. I spent the next 3 years flying back and forth from Bundaberg to Sydney to be with her through various surgeries, treatments and finally to be with her when she passed away on Oct 16, 2003. I was completely devastated, she was my baby sister and I loved her so very much. It was also during these 3 years that I met Dan and we had a long distance love affair travelling to be with each other between Bundaberg and Brisbane. I grew to love him more and more as he was always there for me and my family.

I was transferred back to Brisbane in 2004 and Dan and I became engaged and then married in 2005, I fell pregnant on our honeymoon turned 40 in Nov that year and on May 31st 2006 delivered our precious Isabella Rose. There’s more to that part of the story but suffice to say she was a blessing from my angels in heaven!

The next 5 years were the usual family challenges, sleep deprivation, tantrums and fun and games! I loved every minute of it.


We decided after an ‘interesting’ family Christmas in 2011 that in 2012 we would go away on our first family cruise in Dec for Christmas and to celebrate Dan’s 40th birthday which falls on the 27th Dec. Holiday booked and so begins 2012...

Dan went back to work after Christmas holiday with flu like symptoms and a terrible, annoying cough...

11 weeks later...

Mar 31

We have just spent 5 weeks toing and froing from doctors and have just spent the last week going to the PA hospital everyday for lengthy waiting and tests of all sorts to find out whether Dan has Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. In the past month he has had CT scans, bone marrow biopsy, fine needle aspirations, lymph node biopsy, blood tests ( lots of those), chest x-rays, etc. Now we know that come Monday we will have a definite diagnosis...we ‘hope’ for Hodgkins, it is probably the lesser of all the evils it could be. If so, then we expect to hear at next Thursday’s clinic appointment that Dan will begin treatment very quickly and hopefully chemo and radiation will be the extent of a treatment that will see my darling husband well again.

I never imagined that I would be sitting in oncology units again after doing this twice before...the sights, sounds, smells are an assault on my senses and it is reeling to be affected so strongly this way. I never let Dan see that it affects me when I smell or hear things that bring memories back from a time I’d rather forget. That is where my woebegone state ends.

I have an amazing family...the 3 of us are together and I know we’ll be strong for each other no matter what. Isabella has been wonderful, amazing actually. We have explained to her as best we can what is going on so far as we know, and kept her daily schedule as normal as possible so far. I’m so lucky to have an absolute treasure of a friend and colleague in my Teacher Aide, Lyndall, who has helped with Isabella almost everyday for the past month as well as keep my classroom running when I haven’t been there.

The families at school and my colleagues have all been wonderful with their kind words of support and encouragement.

I cannot abide people who dwell in self sorrow, so we don’t, but I do admit that there have been times when I have quietly shed tears not because I am facing this foe again, because it feels unfair to be SO familiar with everything that this disease is and does to good people and families, in particular, my family.

I will never let my darling sister down by being a ‘sad sack’ because whenever we would feel a bit of self woe she was always the first to say “Oh pull yourself together! Don’t you know there are others out there suffering much worse than I?”

Her strength, courage, dignity and love will always be my strength. My mother’s laugh will always ring from my heart and my smile will always be there for my family along with loving arms to hold us together.

I wish you a wonderful Easter to you and yours.

Kind Regards



  1. I have only met Isabella once, but must say... you should not be amazed at how well she is doing...look at the beautiful strong mother, grandmother and Aunty she that she came from!!!!
    You are amazing girlfriend and even though there have been many years between drinks, I have never forgotten visiting your amazing mother and sister when your mum was sick. I would often try and make sense of it all back then and thought how life dealt this family the wrong cards.....but then how your family got on with it and put each card in order so as to make the whole experience the best they could.....cherishing each other.
    KYM I love you to bits and will always cherish those sad and memorable moments as well as our happy, fun times at college, Byron Bay(camping,yes Kym did the camping!!!) and up the sunshine coast.
    You will be forever in my heart, Vicki xxxx

    1. Thank you Vicki, what wonderful times those college days were...even mixed with the sadness of losing mum. I'm so glad we are still 'in touch' so many years later. I know we shall share some more fun times in the future too! xxx

  2. You are an inspiring woman whom I have always looked too. It is not easy dealing with adversity, but you are such a courageous spirit holding your head high and refusing to be brought down by what life has dealt to your gorgeous family. I give you all my courage and strength to help you, Dan and Bella through this tumultuous journey. I know you will all come out on top!!
    Love Dianna. xxxx

  3. Thank you Dianna xxx

  4. Kym, I'm amazed at the way that your loving arms and smile can also extend beyond your family at this time and into your classroom. Our children are blessed to have such a positive, courageous and inspiring role model in their lives. I will be thinking of you tomorrow. :-)

    1. Thank you for those kind words Jennifer! I am inspired by those beautiful kids everyday. The fun and hard work of school helps to get me through it all! I am so grateful for all the support of my wonderful Prep Blue families. xxx