calliemm started out as a family blog and was later restructured to share the story of my husband Brendan’s cancer diagnosis and treatment. Brendan was my person, my love, and Dad to our two children. Now calliemm is dedicated to Bren’s memory and our lives as we move forward without him. We lost him to cancer on August 31st, 2017.
On Friday the 13th, 2014 Brendan was diagnosed with a very rare cancer called undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma. He was diagnosed at stage 4, with a 7cm primary tumour in his right femur, a second and smaller one in his left and metastasis in his lungs. 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 strength, grace and good humour. He left us all in awe of the exceptional human that he was.
calliemm was a place our family, friends, and community came to read 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 have a new story to document. Widowhood. 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.
I have a lot to learn as we navigate what comes next and a lot to make sense of, and I’m sure there will be more to share as life goes on.
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.