You’ve probably noticed I’ve stopped posting over the last month. I wanted to keep you guys updated about why – seeing as you’ve come along with me for the ups and downs of life, I feel I owe you an explanation and a look into my life behind the blog. This is hard for me to write about, which is why I have delayed doing so. I’m not the kind of person that feels better after writing about their problems, but sometimes you just gotta communicate. Basically, shit got real.
I wasn’t able to attend Melbourne Fashion Week due to a horrific case of Vestibular Neuritis which kept me bed bound for 3 weeks. Well, a week after I got back to work, I got a call from my Mum saying my brother Rhys had a sore hip and she wanted to take him to the emergency room. My brother had just turned 18 a few weeks earlier and is an avid soccer player so we assumed he’d maybe fractured or bruised something. I dropped everything and we took him to our local hospital.
It turned out my brother had an 8cm bone tumour on his pelvis. That night we spent 9 hours in the emergency room getting tests done, talking to various doctors and eventually waiting for an orthopaedic surgeon. Then at around midnight he was checked into the orthopaedic ward.
The next day we spoke with more doctors, waited for more scans and tests and generally just tried to help my brother keep it together. My mum and I took turns staying with him, and he had about 50 friends from school & soccer come through to visit him which definitely kept his spirits up. Eventually we were told they were transferring us to a bigger hospital that have a special tumour department who would be more qualified to diagnose him.
After a few days our worst fears were confirmed: he has cancer. And not just any cancer. A rare, aggressive children’s bone cancer called Ewing Sarcoma. It was heartbreaking to say the least. My mother had fought off breast cancer during my teenage years and it was hard – I had to grow up quickly and a lot of caring for my siblings (who are 10 years my junior) fell to me as she was a single mum – but to suddenly have my immediate family hit again by the cancer stick 5 years later was like a kick in the metaphorical balls.
It all happened so quickly. We went from being a happy-go-lucky family to a group of people suddenly bereft at the idea of losing our brother. Plus the added financial pressure – my mum can no longer work as she needs to care for Rhys so my parents (who still have 3 children that live at home aged 16 – 19) have had to drop down to one income. When you add in the medical bills, petrol to travel the 1 ½ hours to hospital every day and the astronomical parking fees, they are basically wondering how they are going to make it out of this with any future for themselves, Rhys or my siblings. Its all together just a fucked up situation.
So what is next? He has 5 months of chemo (4 types of chemo, for 9 hours a day, for 3 days every 2 weeks) then surgery to remove the tumour, then another 5 months of chemo. It’s going to be hard. He’s going to suffer a lot and the rest of us are going to suffer watching our loved one go through such a tough time.
I will still be posting here, I want to keep you guys updated and to share my life with you, but it will take some time for me to get back in the swing of things. I’m struggling with the amount of stress I’m experiencing, its going to take some time for my happy writing style to come back and I plan to keep at it until it does. A big thank you to those who have been supporting me (I’ve never been so thankful for a wonderful fiancée!) and to those who have sent their love via social media, it honestly does make me feel better to know so many people care!