Just after 6.00am on March 8th, 2008, my mobile rings. It’s a Saturday morning and I don’t know who would be ringing at such a ridiculous hour of the morning. My two young daughters are asleep and my mum and I are having coffee.
My older brother is on the phone sobbing. I have never, EVER heard him cry like this before. Not even when our parents got divorced some 25 years earlier.
“You need to get down here NOW!!! It’s Dad. He’s in intensive care.”
Words that I will never forget. I had just called my brother the day before for his birthday and wished him a Happy birthday from me and my girls.
“You need to get here NOW!!” he said again with so much panic in his voice it scared me.
My brother and sister-in-law lived in North-west New South Wales. I was living in Mackay. “You need to get to Tamworth hospital”, he said again. I calmed him down as best I could and found out that our Dad had just been diagnosed with cancer. My dad and I weren’t close but I knew that I needed to be there for my brother.
I got off the phone and made a phone call to Qantas. It was now 6.30am and I explained the situation to the booking lady from Qantas. She asked how far away we lived from the Mackay airport. I told her about 20 minutes. She said there was a plane leaving at 7.00am and they would hold it for us. I have never packed so fast in my life.
We boarded that plane and arrived in Tamworth mid-afternoon.
My dad came out of intensive care and lived another 10 months until he passed away on the 9th January, 2009, two days before my eldest daughter’s 5th birthday.
Cancer, the BIG “C”. Whatever you want to call it is a cruel disease that takes whoever. There is no rhyme or reason to it.
Movember was started by two blokes who met up for a beer in a pub one afternoon and were talking about fashion trends and how the humble moustache was a thing of the past. They contacted a few mates (30 to be exact) and decided to bring it back into fashion.
One of the fella’s mother was going through cancer and decided that not much is said about men’s cancer and that is how the humble Movember started.
But it’s not just for the blokes anymore. Did you know that us ladies can get involved in the Move for Movember, where you just get up and walk, jog, run and raise money for an awesome charity. See ladies, we don’t need to stop waxing that upper lip at all!!
But not only does Movember deal with cancer, it deals with other issues men face. It deals with mental health and suicide prevention in men. Something else that I am all too familiar with, but that’s a whole other blog!!
So come on ladies, support the men in our lives who are growing that caterpillar on their top lip or even sign up yourself and get Mo-ving!!
Written by Helen Brown
Helen has lived in Townsville for the past two years with her husband and three daughters and loves the family support they have here. She runs her own bookkeeping business and is a registered BAS Agent.
Already kept on her toes with running a household and a business, Helen is also kept busy with renovating the family home in her ‘spare’ time.