Adrienne’s Story

Adrienne and her family

When you’re told you have terminal breast cancer, life as you know it changes completely.

I found a lump in my breast in December 2008. In January I had an ultrasound, biopsy, appointments, and then came “the phone call”. It felt like I was on a merry-go-round.

I never thought it would happen to me. I had no history of cancer in my family.

In April 2009 I got the devastating news that it had spread to my bones.

All I could feel was complete shock.

“Oh my god I’m going to die”

“What about my family?

“I want to see my two sons get married and have kids”.

My world caved in.

I felt lost. Alone. Isolated.

I didn’t know anyone else facing the same diagnosis. There wasn’t anybody who could understand what I was going through.

Until Sweet Louise showed up.

In 2013, Sweet Louise extended its services to the Waikato, where I live, and it was the first time I met others in the same situation as me.

When Sweet Louise started, I could finally talk about my diagnosis, treatments and fears with others who were worrying about all the same things. It was such a relief.

Thanks to kind people like you, Sweet Louise was able to start meetings in Hamilton. And now we need more meetings for people struggling with cancer.

Meeting with other Sweet Louise Members means I can talk about things I can’t talk about with other people.

People don’t like to talk about dying. When I first told my two sons, they were shocked and wanted to know how long I had left and when was I going to die. It’s really hard to try to answer those kind of questions.

At Sweet Louise, I can ask other Members how they have talked to their children and what has helped. And how do I deal with the anger and sadness that I most likely won’t get to be a granny.

I’m lucky to have my husband – we do talk about my dying and that he will be alone. We have put things in place for him to cope better when it happens. And I can only hope that he will be ok without me.

The meetings mean that I can access a lot of knowledge about terminal breast cancer; the treatments available, the different reactions you can have, the right diet for cancer patients and complementary therapies.

We also talk about hospice and planning for when the time comes. I hadn’t even heard about planning what I want when I die. But it’s something I needed to think about.

Learning about the cancer I have makes it less scary and I feel more in control about what will happen in times ahead.

Before Sweet Louise was set up in the Waikato I had no one. And I know there are other women feeling the same way I did.

With help from people like you, I have found a group of people who understand what I’m going through, something that is so important during my toughest days.

The support I get from Sweet Louise has meant the world to me. Please help others to get the same care I am lucky to have.

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