Posted on March 23, 2014
We have been touched by asbestos in individual ways, yet we are joined together by a bond of community. As a testament to the strength of our global family, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is highlighting the courageous stories of our members with the “Share Your Story” feature on our website.
This week, we would like to honor the story of Julie, as shared by her partner, Rod, who is the Bernie Banton Foundation Operations Manager and part of our ADAO family.
We encourage you to submit your personal stories by clicking here and following the simple instructions on the page. In sharing, comes healing. Remember, you are not alone.
“She Will Always Be My Rock” – Julie’s Story
Date of Birth: 17-JUN-1944
Date of Diagnosis: 30-JUL-2008
Date of Death: 06-SEP-2011
Diagnosis: Peritoneal, Pleural and Reproductive Area Mesothelioma
Treatment: 4 major operations, a number of minor procedures, many tests, blood transfusions and 20 rounds of chemotherapy.
How has asbestos changed your life? Asbestos Not Only Kills People – It Destroys Lives. 2008 was to be our year! Julie and I had been together 23 years, brought up three boys and had a successful business, we dared for the first time, to dream of having scheduled holidays! Yes life was good ………. we dared to dream! Our life, our world, came crashing down at the start of July 2008, when Julie suggested I might want to take some time off work, as she had to have some tests. A month later, on July 30 at 7.30pm, standing on a footpath outside a local ‘Indian’ restaurant, where we were celebrating our middle son’s birthday, we got told the news no one should have to hear, “Julie had the worst possible test results, she had extremely advanced mesothelioma and at the best had 2 months to live!” Mesothelioma, never heard of it, what is it? Can’t be that bad! We were soon to find out it was, it is, that bad! In a short space of time, we were to learn Julie’s condition was far worse than thought, not only did Julie have mesothelioma in the stomach (peritoneal) and in the chest (pleural), but tests had found a large (9cm – 3.75 inches) ‘ovarian’ tumor [this was later to be proven also to be mesothelioma] and to add insult to injury, possible tumors in the spine. We fought the battle for 3 years, 1 month and seven days. Never once giving up, Jules always looked at the positive, and believed there was always somebody worse off, even as she endured test after test, blood transfusions, operations and chemotherapy. By November 2010 we were told there was no treatment left, life from now on was about ‘quality’, not ‘quantity’! Julie loved our property, and wanted to see out whatever time she had there. I decided, against Julie’s wishes, to wind back the business so I could look after Jules at home. With the help of a wonderful team of nurses from the local Royal District Nursing Service, I am proud to be able to say we achieved this. Julie died at home, surrounded by her ‘loved ones’ and two treasured little dogs, at 1.27am 6th September 2011. Julie was an inspiration to all she came in contact with – she will always be my rock!
* * *