Finding happiness in unexpected places | PERSONAL STORY

After my diagnosis and treatment eight years ago, I thought I was destined to a life (not sure how long) by myself, dedicating my time to housework and schoolwork, as my husband had left three years earlier and my boys had grown and were now living independent lives. How wrong was I, having achieved so many firsts since then.

Never having ventured out of Australia before, I have now travelled to the UK and Europe with my niece, to Thailand with my son and am looking forward to my upcoming trip to the Cook Islands. I have retired from teaching although I do keep in touch with those who were so supportive of me during my treatment, providing meals and visiting regularly.

I have reconnected with my first love from 40 years ago and he proposed to me last year on the beach where we had our first kiss way back then. We had a beautiful wedding in our backyard on the farm in March surrounded by our families and friends. It was meant to be a small affair. However, it ended up being 100 people!

I have settled into life on the farm and have quite an extensive list of achievements here. I now drive a ride-on mower, quad bike, truck and two different tractors. I have helped “pull” calves and have bottle- and bucket-fed calves and lambs. I have burnt stubble paddocks and put out fires in paddocks that weren’t supposed to be burnt!

I have seen my boys grow up to be independent and successful young men – but no grandchildren as yet! However, I did “inherit” a grandson when I married in March.

So reflecting on the last eight years, I am a much stronger and more independent woman. I have a loving husband to care for me, an amazing family of whom I am so proud and a beautiful extended family that has accepted me into their lives. Who cares about the hot flushes and fatigue. Life is good when I am surrounded by those who love me. And hey, I only have to take Tamoxifen for another three years. They should fly by. The last eight years certainly have. And I plan to be around for a lot longer yet!

Karen, VIC

Issue 72
Spring 2015