Rachael’s last Christmas with her family. Sadly, she died of bowel cancer in August 2018.
Rachael wrote this letter in the lead up to her last Christmas with our family. She wanted you to understand the struggles she was going through before she passed away. – Aaron, Rachael’s husband.
Christmas has always been a special time in my family. There are special recipes we cook and traditions we embrace, but most of all it is a time for happiness and joy.
Putting up our Christmas tree and preparing for the festivities is now tinged with a degree of sadness. I can’t help but wonder how many more Christmases I will have with my family. I have always pictured our future – my husband, Aaron and I surrounded by children and grandchildren at Christmas time, yet there is every possibility that I will not get to experience this.
Cancer has rocked our world. I lost part of my identity with my cancer diagnosis.
I am no longer just Ms N the English teacher or Rachael the woman who loves theatre, dancing at parties and fabulous wine. I am Rachael the cancer patient who must subject her body to chemotherapy, blood tests, scans, medications and medical appointments. I can no longer plan too far into the future.
I miss so much of my old life. I miss feeling normal.
I look at my children, my beautiful children, and my heart aches for them.
They have had to take on more responsibility in the household. They have had to become more self-reliant and resilient. While at times it makes me cry, I can’t help but be proud of them. They continue to make me laugh and provide me with such love and affection.
My husband, Aaron, lost his father to cancer when he was only 11 years old. He knows the heartache of losing a parent and now he is faced with the prospect of nurturing and guiding our children through my journey with cancer. He is hopeful that with research and breakthroughs that I will be given more time to spend with him and our children.
Cancer has touched far too many of us. It has taken loved ones from us. It has caused too much pain and suffering.
It is for these reasons that I urge you to show your support for Cancer Council. It is only through research that new treatments can be discovered and that we can help eradicate this insidious disease.
My hope is that I have many more Christmases with my family. Your help and generosity provides me, and all those suffering from cancer with hope for a better future.
Donate today to give families like Rachael's more precious moments together.