calliemm was created to share the story of my amazing husband and father of our two children — Brendan Maloney. Its purpose was 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 rare. His disease was called undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma, at diagnosis, he had a 7cm tumour in his right femour, a smaller one in his left and metastasis in his lung. We were in trouble from the outset, but our hope and faith were unshakable. Our children were only 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 tight-knit community, teambrendanm, and became a place our team: family, friends, community and complete strangers came for diarised updates on Brendan’s cancer treatment, where we could surround him with community spirit, love and strength when he needed it the most.
Now I am at the beginning of a new story for calliemm 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. Now as 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 know I have a lot to learn and a lot to make sense of, and I’m sure there will be much to share. The rollercoaster of life continues.
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.