The real face of breast cancer – watching your best friend slip out of your life
Kelly was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013. After receiving treatment, including chemotherapy, she was given the all clear and over the next 18 months raised thousands of pounds for cancer charities, including organising a “Cancer Cabaret” and a host of other events.
However, after running the Brighton Marathon with her husband Simon in 2016, Kelly was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer. Despite this, she continued to work and even took part in Triathlons for the Team Phoenix Foundation.
Sadly, after a course of treatment and medications, Kelly passed away at the end of June 2020, leaving behind Simon and their two children, aged 8 and 11.
In his own words, Simon’s emotions about Kelly and losing her are laid bare:
I Won’t Miss…”
Being told off for packing the shopping bags wrong.
Getting that look when buying extra sweets for the children.
The duvet pulled off of me as we slept.
Getting poked for snoring when it was definitely the dogs.
Watching dodgy TV that I somehow ended up enjoying.
Watching her re-hang the washing after I’d done it.
Listening to her talk crap after having a few drinks.
Being asked to clean the bathrooms.
Getting lectured on overloading the dishwasher.
Letting her overrule me on which colour paint we should buy.
Forgetting how she hated “I Know” as my response to those 3 words.
Keknee eating the last of my chocolate M&Ms.
Then It All Changed…
Being told that Kelly has breast cancer for the first time in 2013.
Walking around the hospital waiting for numerous operations to be over.
Watching Kelly breakdown as she begun to lose her hair during chemo.
Seeing her self confidence deteriorate as her body was permanently scarred.
Watching her vomit in pain when on mile 21 of the marathon.
Being by her side when she was diagnosed with incurable secondary breast cancer.
Suffering with anxiety and depression as every 3 month scan came around.
Watching good friends gradually disappear when the going got tough.
Dealing with bunches of flowers every time there was bad news.
Being informed that the previous treatment option had stopped working.
Spending hours looking for any alternative treatment options.
Taking a phone call to inform me that she was coming home for end of life care.
Telling the children that their mummy was not going to get better.
Administering her drugs over 24 hours each day.
Cleaning up buckets of sick, once she was unable to absorb any food or drink.
Helping her to the bathroom when she was so weak and unable to walk.
Feeding her small ice cubes during her last few days.
Watching her weight plummet to under 6 stone.
Seeing my beautiful Keknee hiding her pain and despair for near 7 years.
Watching my wife and partner of over 25 years take her last breath.
Waking the children at 3am to let them kiss mummy for the last time.
Signing the doctors Extinction Of Life document.
Watching the undertakers carry my best friend out of the house for the last time.
The real cancer is not a glamourised advertising campaign.
The real cancer is not a coffee and cake morning.
The real cancer is not a night run or fancy dress.
The real cancer is not always recovery and bell ringing.
This is the real face of breast cancer.
Simon is taking part in the Brighton Half Marathon 2021 for Against Breast Cancer, along with Kelly’s close friend Louise and Kelly’s older brother James.
If you’d like to keep up to date with Simon’s progress on his fundraising page, please see click the button below:Simon's Fundraising Page