calliemm, origionally a family blog was restructured to share the story of my amazing husband and father of our two children, Brendan Maloney. Its new purpose, to document Bren’s cancer diagnosis and treatment. And to update our family and friends on his progress. It became much more — and is now dedicated to Bren’s memory after losing him to cancer on August the 31st, 2018.
On Friday the 13th, 2014 Brendan was diagnosed with cancer. We would find out not long after, that it was a rare cancer called undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma. At diagnosis, Bren had a 7cm tumour in his right femur, a smaller one in his left and metastasis in his lungs. We were in trouble from the outset, but our hope and faith were unshakable. Our children were ten at the time. Bren managed to survive a very aggressive cancer for three years, inspiring everyone who knew him as he took cancer on with a strength, grace and good humour that left us in awe of the exceptional human being that he was.
calliemm supported our family and tight-knit community, our team – teambrendanm, and became the place everyone came for diarised updates on Brendan’s cancer treatment. A place where we could surround him with love, strength and community spirit when he needed it the most.
Now I find myself at the beginning of a new story to document. Widowhood, and it feels foreign to me. A strange and uncomfortable label to wear – by definition it is what I am, a widow. A 50 something single mum with teenage twins and a teenage dog, doing the best I can to live a good life and provide for my family, in a world without my husband in it.
Moving forward, I have a lot to learn and a lot to make sense of, and I’m sure there will be more to share as the rollercoaster of life continues.
As always and in my husband’s memory I still choose to believe that life is good and hope is limitless.
Above: Tyra, Baden and our dog Otis, enjoying our favourite place in the world, the beach, with their Dad…just down the road from our house. It was Bren’s last summer — we miss him every day.