Thursday, December 2, 2010

Breast Cancer and the Lotus Blooms

Today is Vanessa's birthday.
May your birthday be filled with yesterday's memories, today's joys and tomorrow's dreams Ness.

Last year I purchased this Angel Wings Lotus plant on Jeremy's birthday. It was not doing well in a pot on the Al Fresco area; I suggested to Haydn that we put it in the dam. The spot was chosen because it was easily accessible. We then found that it had completely disappeared and we were unable to find even the pot. That was until Spring arrived and the lotus gave birth to new leaves once again! We waited patiently for the lotus to bloom for Jeremy's birthday on 16th November and then again for his Angel Date 21st. We wondered why it was taking its time. What better time than today to celebrate Ness' Birthday. Unfortunately 50ml of rain over the past 24 hours meant taking this picture from afar. I was concerned enough for my own safety that I retreated, camera in hand, when I began to slip and slide down the bank towards the dam.
I first met Ness when I arrived in Bairnsdale in November 2006 to organise Jeremy's Celebration of Life Service. It was there I met this most delightful young woman. Jezz had been telling me about her for weeks. Vanessa's Mum told me that her daughter had been given a new lease on life thanks to my son. Jezz was always capable of giving 'new life' to everything he touched.

It broke my heart to later learn that Ness had been diagnosed with breast cancer. I often reflect on the accident, and the diagnosis, and wonder about the correlation between the two. As a 33 year old Ness endured surgery, chemotherapy and radiation followed  by reconstruction in August this year.

Although the details may not be 'perfect,' there are a couple of things that stand out for both of us. The first was the Sentinel Node Biopsy which led the surgeon to nodes deep within the chest wall that were cancerous. Her surgeon even suggested she had angels on her side; she just smiled. Apparently the circumstances were most unusual. A first for him! He said had it not shown up like that he would never have known to remove those nodes and who knows what the outcome may have been. Because of the extent of the surgery Ness was in extreme pain and then had a serious reaction to the morphine being administered.

I later received a message from her taken while undergoing radiation. She said 'Can you believe it? The roof is covered with butterflies. He's always around when I need him.' Maybe it helps that Vanessa means butterfly!

Vanessa is now engaged to be married and has put her treatment, and her disease, behind her. Ness, you will always hold a special place in my heart sweetie; Jezz and I wish you the very best for your future happiness.

16 comments:

diane said...

What a lovely but sad story. How wonderful that she has recovered and has seen another birthday. Your angel has done well.

Starry said...

very wise of you to avoid falling in the dam! That is SO not what Ness wants to happen especially on her birthday.
Its a great thing, this blooming for her day.
I'd like to wish her every happiness and blessing in her life.
You too, Chez, love and blessings to you both!

Anonymous said...

Love this story. Heartbreaking & heartwarming! Tears of sadness & tears of joy! Happy Birthday Ness!
Love from your friend in Texas.

Kaz said...

Chez,Jezz knows where to be.Bloom for the right reason.Glad Ness is happy and can see all the signs that Jezz sends her.Happy Birthday Ness.

Love Love Love Kaz.xo

Beth L. Gainer said...

Beautiful, poignant story, Chez. I loved reading it.

I responded to your comment on my blog regarding that bra shop in Chicago. It might be worth e-mailing them to see if they know of any in Australia.

-- Beth

stonepost said...

Chez, I always hunt for your posts and enjoy reading them. I believe in Angels and Butterflies and I know they helped me.

julie said...

Beautiful! It made me cry.

Chez said...

Diane, Ness is beautiful and I feel honoured to have her in my life. Jezz certainly knows what he is doing.

Chez said...

Thanks Starry. It was fear of what Haydn would say that actually stopped me in my tracks. Also my camera is too expensive to allow it to be destroyed that way.
Ness went to the U2 concert and loved it. Ness will probably check this out and receive the birthday wishes.
Take care my friend xo

Chez said...

My precious friend from the south I think Ness will be excited to see you wishing her well. She is adorable and means the world to me. Just as you do xo

Chez said...

Kaz, Ness is very spiritual and is really in tune with the signs. I would love to live closer to her and catch up often. Lots of love coming your way xo

Chez said...

Thanks Beth. I was absolutely devastated to learn that Ness was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at just 33. Anyway, it is now behind her and she can look forward to a bright future.
Thanks also for the info; certainly seems to be just what is needed.
Fond thoughts

Chez said...

StonePost it is sort of like believing in magic. Perfect for kids our age. My friend has dragonflies in her life. She was with me when we bought the lotus plant. We had a magenta dragonfly following us and it led us to the Angel Wings Lotus. Magically!

Chez said...

Julie how sweet. Thankfully, it is a story with a happy ending.
Live life, laugh and love...

nancyspoint said...

Chez,
I really loved this post. I think its my favorite one of yours I have read so far. How comforting to know how much of an impact Jezz had on this young woman's life. He must have been an amazing son, taking after his mother no doubt!

Chez said...

Thank you for your kind words Nancy. Actually, I would have to say it was the other way around. Jezz taught me to love unconditionally which brings joy to living.