A form of cancer that I know a lot of people have never heard of.
I was one of those
people, before this horrible illness took someone I loved so much away from me.
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that comes from exposure to Asbestos; most of the time lying dormant in your body for years. One that burdens its patients or victims, as quickly as it takes them away too.
My name is Chelsea Phillips, I am 25 years old and a passionate, emotional and determined person. In August this year, I’m getting married to my best friend, Ben. I’m extremely family orientated and love my friends.
My Opa (grandfather), to us, seemed like a healthy older gentleman,
someone who appreciated everything life had to offer; his beautiful wife, 5
amazing kids, 11 grandkids and so on.
He had always had a shadow on his lungs, something that his doctor was never too worried about. But in the months leading up to his first admission into hospital, he was experiencing severe pain and discomfort around his shoulder and chest. It was mistaken for muscle and joint pain a number of times.
The immediate concern came when he saw a different doctor, who sent
him straight to emergency at Sutherland hospital on the 12th
December, 2016. He spent one and half weeks and his last Christmas lying in a
hospital bed, with no answers. We celebrated my Oma’s birthday in January, with
Opa at home.
A few months later
after visiting a new specialist, my Opa was again admitted into Emergency,
where he spent the next few weeks. More and more tests and finally on the eve
of Valentines Day 2017, we got the answer that none of us wanted to hear. That
shadow on his lungs was Mesothelioma and ‘months’ was the diagnosis.
Within 2 weeks of Opa’s diagnosis, he was transported to a different
hospital, where he would spend, what we thought would be his last weeks. But on
the morning of the 6th March 2017, just 3 days after he was
transferred, we got a call to come and spend the last precious hours with our
beautiful Opa. He held out a tough fight for most of the day.
The brutal cancer
took him within weeks of his diagnosis. It’s something I would not want anyone
else to endure, especially if something can be done about it before it’s too
I could have had him around for a century longer and I struggle
with the sudden loss of my grandfather every day. I hope that in raising
awareness of this sinister cancer, that people will take extra precaution and
care, whether they have already been exposed to or are still exposing
themselves to asbestos today. They need to get themselves checked and use all
the appropriate protective gear.
I asked my beautiful friend and fellow fundraiser, Rachel, if she would be interested in raising money for cancer research and she let me know about the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail. It seemed like a perfect fit for us and we have been planning to do it ever since. The reason we are taking part in this walk, is to raise awareness of the awful, incurable cancers that have affected both Rach and my families, along with all other forms of cancers. Cancers, that should be much more widely known about and with the help of raising awareness and funds, hopefully avoided and with the help of research, cured.
All funds that are raised from this walk will go straight towards
overall cancer research, because although there may not be a cure for this form
of cancer yet, this will get us one step closer to curing other types of cancer
that are still taking too many lives.
There are too many
people in my life alone, that have been affected in some way by cancer, we can
all stand up to this horrific killing disease and make a change.
When someone you love is so sick and you hear about so many other people affected by this disease, there is not much that you can actually do and you feel helpless. I have been wanting to do something for two years and I am so lucky I have someone like Rach to go on this journey with.