Friday, January 3, 2014

Reflection on 2013 and hello to 2014!

We are all brave and beautiful warriors living with this deadly asbestos cancer.  Warriors through no fault of our own, we have been exposed to deadly asbestos fibres some time during our life time.  These fibres can stay dormant in the body and take up to 10 to 40 years before deadly asbestos cancer/mesothelioma is diagnosed or an asbestos related disease such as asbestosis or pleural plaques.

This candle is also for those brave and beautiful warriors who have lost their lives to this deadly cancer including my father who died in 1985 of pleural mesothelioma aged 54 years.  They put up a very brave fight while living with mesothelioma and eventually lost their battle.  We always will remember them as being brave beyond their life on earth.  They truly are warriors knowing their life was going to be cut short thanks to deadly asbestos and the pure greed of those who knew that asbestos was a deadly and dangerous substance.  So many innocent families are torn apart due to their loved one being diagnosed with an asbestos related illness.   When their loved one does die, they are left to pick up the pieces and 'carry on with life' no matter how hard it is for them having lost their family member knowing that their death could have been prevented if it weren't for the asbestos greed!

As for me - 2013 has been a year of highs and lows living with mesothelioma.   Knowing that my cancer was on the move and feeling like I was going to die due to breathlessness, pain and sheer exhaustion I went thru further chemotherapy treatment August to November 2013 and surprise surprise - I am feeling well again and living my life to the fullest!   Enjoying each day and making the most of it, planning what I am going to do in the next few months, raising asbestos awareness, education, advocacy and support on a global scale and being part of the Bernie Banton Foundation as Asbestos Information, Awareness and Support officer.

In December 2013 Keith and myself hosted at least 4 very special and important events at our home.  The next day I would feel slightly lol exhausted however so so glad to be here and being able to do them as it is what I love doing - making others feel very loved and special!  2 December we hosted the Bernie Banton Foundation Christmas luncheon with older ADSVIC (Asbestos Diseases Victoria Organisation) members/friends attending making it a very very special day.   There is a very special and loving vibe in the room where I am sure, brave warriors who have died are with us laughing and sharing the Christmas festivities including a surprise visit from Santa!  The day was very hot outside although inside was a nice cool temperature.  

My side of the family on 22 Dec we had Christmas lunch here - altogether 16 in attendance.  So nice to be able to have it at our place in 2013 and such a beautiful warm and sunny day weather wise.

In between we had a couple of Xmas informal dinner parties here that we were so glad to return some lovely hospitality to others who had done the same for us many times when I had not felt like cooking being so fatigued at times during the year.

New Year's eve we again had a party here - we were able to sit outside watching the sun set while enjoying a glass of vino, good company and afterwards inside for a light meal then a midnight toast to 2014 and a big toast for Keith and myself that we made it!   Every new year's eve my sister in law and also my nice neighbour good friend toast to this time next year being here and celebrating 2014!   That is a very very important toast for me, for Keith, family and also for all the other brave warriors around the world!

I will post further later today about being asked to speak at the first inaugural Ban Asbestos Conference in Pakistan.

Until then I wish everyone a very happy and beautiful 2014!