Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Here is my gorgeous son-in-law, Mikey, holding some balloons. Why, you are asking? Well, you might just see balloons but I see symbols of love, care, hope, people who care about you and have your back. Mikey and Beth brought them over for Holly and I at the end of what's been a traumatic couple of weeks.

It all started when my older sister, Karen, invited us over for coffee and cake. A lovely family gathering? Well not exactly, she made a devastating announcement.... She just found out that she had breast cancer and that it's serious. What? We were all in shock. Overwhelmed, gutted for Karen, wanting to shield her from the pain.... all reeling with the feeling of here we go again.... another family battle with cancer. This is a first that I don't want to repeat! I'm don't think I'm ever going to respond well to an invitation for coffee and cake again!
And so the rollercoaster ride has begun..... Karen has had a mastectomy and with one possible suspect lymph node, she has chemotherapy to follow. She is undertaking a huge emotional, physical, pyschological and spiritual journey. And we are all right by her side - loving her, praying for her, trying to help her out in any way we can. She is amazing - brave, honest, facing her fears, trying to rest, being a little bit naughty and still wanting to be there for every one else. An impossible task. And so we journey on - loving, supporting and finding strength in each other, being real, hurting and crying, wondering what's up with our family and cancer, seeking God's support, peace and comfort......
So why the balloons? As we were trying to be there for Karen and process it all, Holly and I just seemed to be victim to a series of disasters. Not much in themselves but when combined they proved to be quite overwhelming. Downstairs flooded, Bunny got diarrhoea (everywhere!), Holly's bag was stolen, her starter motor stopped working in the middle of Newmarket and the insurance company was not that helpful. We just wanted to be with Karen and all of this stuff got in the way - mentally, emotionally and physically. So as I felt myself slowly going under, beautiful Beth and Mikey turned up with balloons, love, support, lunch, dinner, big hugs and all the encouragement we needed. Thanks guys. I love you so much!!
So when I look at the balloons they remind me that I am loved! They make me smile! They are a reminder to not take each other for granted because you never know what's round the corner. They are a reminder to hug the people you love and tell them that you love them. Give someone a balloon!

Keep up the breast self checks and get regular mammograms. Karen's cancer was picked up in a routine mammogram. For more info check out http://www.nzbcf.org.nz/

Photos by Beth Peters

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