When you’ve used all the strength you can muster to overcome cancer, there’s one thing that even the most positive of survivor fears.
Hearing that it’s returned.
Learning that you must start the fight again.
Letting it sink in that the most difficult time of your life is about to be repeated, and your future is, once again, uncertain.
But that’s the current reality for our beautiful Gold Coast local, Aileen.
Aileen was originally diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2013.
After the removal of her uterus and ongoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments, she and her family were overjoyed to enter a period or remission believing they could close the door on the traumatic chapter for good.
Aileen returned to work, life went back to normal, and everything was going well until 2015 when the worst-case scenario of every cancer survivor became her reality.
The cancer was back.
A tumour was found in her bowel which was removed with surgery, however, the cancer had also spread into her tissues and lymph nodes.
Ongoing chemotherapy started quickly but caused severe side effects. Suffering from chronic nerve pain that made it impossible for her to walk, nausea, and extreme tiredness; Aileen’s hearing was also affected making it hard for her to retain her quality of life.
Since 2015, life for Aileen has been an ongoing mix of medication and treatment, with numerous painful attempts to rid her body of the cancer that’s slowly taken hold of her body.
Anyone who’s ever received a cancer diagnosis will tell you that when you hear those words, “it’s cancer”, life crashes down around you.
They’ll also tell you that, practically, it’s not always possible to just bow out of life until you’re ready to resume as normal.
Often, sufferers must still work to pay bills, and relationships which were cruising along begin to suffer as both the patient and everyone around them buckles under the pressure of the diagnosis and treatment.
This was no different for Aileen.
She continued to work to maintain her income (dependent solely on how she felt day-to-day), and sadly, her relationship of over 20 years with the father of her three children collapsed.
Aileen’s body has been under immense pressure and just as her doctor determined that she couldn’t cope with any further chemotherapy, in a recent devastating blow, a new tumour has been discovered on her bladder.
What’s next for Aileen?
Aileen has only one option left and that’s the complete removal of her bladder. The surgery, which will take eleven hours, is scheduled for the end of August.
At this stage, it’s a possibility that the surgeons will also have to remove Aileen’s bowel but they won’t know this until she’s on the operating table.
As I know you can imagine, this new diagnosis has rocked Aileen and her family to the core and it’s taken a long time for them all to come to terms with the enormous shock.
Making a tough time just that little bit tougher, the treatment Aileen needs isn’t available near her home on the Gold Coast.
She must travel to the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney for her lifesaving operation and, just like you or I would, she needs her family by her side.
She’ll be away from home for a minimum of four weeks as she undergoes the major operation. The first week she’ll be in recovery in ICU, and then for a further three weeks she’ll remain under medical supervision in the hospital.
Aileen continued to work through her first bout of cancer to pay the bills, but this is obviously no longer an option. None of her family will be able to work during this time either.
She desperately needs the support of her family by her side during what will undoubtedly be the toughest time of her life, but the cost in accommodation alone will run into the thousands for them.
For a family already struggling emotionally, financially, and logistically, Aileen desperately needs the help of Heartfelt Homes and we desperately want to give it to her.
With just two weeks left until her surgery, we’ve already identified three suitable properties within 300 metres of the hospital where Aileen’s family can stay close by.
She will need someone by her side for the duration of her treatment and this is the first step to making it happen.
Each of these options will cost Heartfelt Homes $5,000 for a minimum of four weeks.
While we can’t give Aileen the prognosis that everyone around is hoping and praying for, with your help, what we can do is provide a minimum of four weeks accommodation for her Gold Coast-based family while she receives her gruelling treatment over 800 km from home, away from everyone she knows and everything she’s familiar with.
We can take one financial burden off the list of mounting pressures she and her family are currently facing.
But we need your help.
Please, will you donate to Heartfelt Homes today to help us raise $5,000 so Aileen and her family are guaranteed four weeks accommodation as she fights to overcome the cancer that has slowly but surely taken over every area of her life?
Aileen has three beautiful children who have been her strength and her joy. They are all in their early twenties and just starting out on life’s adventures themselves.
Aileen’s wish is to see them happy and secure in their lives and to spend as much quality time with them as possible.
Her eldest son is getting married in March 2018 and Aileen’s dream is to attend the wedding feeling well and pain-free.
Please, will you help us keep Aileen and her family together so they can give her the emotional support that she needs to beat this cruel illness once and for all?
Please, will you help us help Aileen’s dream of being well at her son’s wedding come true?
To make a donation to Heartfelt Homes so we can provide accommodation for Aileen’s family while she undergoes lifesaving surgery, please CLICK HERE.
Your donation will guarantee accommodation for Aileen’s family for at least four weeks and will help us say YES to more Australian families facing medical crisis far away from home.
Aileen’s surgery is scheduled in Sydney in two weeks, and we can’t do this without you.