A daughter’s perspective …..

My dearest Mother Virginia:

In September 2009, our dearest mother discovered two hot, red lumps on her leg and showed them to us. We took her to the local doctor thinking that it was nothing major. She had some blood tests and the family was urgently asked to attend an appointment at Cabrini to meet up with Prof Miles Prince. He told us that Mum had Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. We were all devastated and shocked. She was admitted to Peter Mac for intensive Chemo the following day. Mum’s first stint in hospital lasted several weeks. It was a trying and emotional time for everyone. In early January, 2010 she received test results saying she was clear and spent the next 6 months in remission. During this fruitful period, Mum was able to enjoy getting to know my husband and my first pregnancy.

I took Mum into Peter Mac again in September 2010 when l was 8 months pregnant. The bone marrow results showed the Leukemia had returned. I was devastated thinking she was going to miss meeting my newborn daughter. Not only had her Leukemia reappeared in the bone marrow, it had now spread to her skin. She was given various treatments and took a huge cocktail of drugs for several months. She took them all without complaint and did everything that was required. A nurse from Peter Mac visited her at home twice a week and we took her in for weekly blood transfusions.

She began a medical trial in late December but unfortunately succumbed to pneumonia and was critically ill over Christmas 2010 in the Intensive Care unit. Nevertheless, she found the strength to fight it so that she could love and cherish the moments she had with my newborn child, her little sweet granddaughter, Jasmine.

Throughout her ordeal with Leukaemia, Mum’s mind was still fully in tact. She continued to read several books, including the entire Alexander McCall Smith ‘Number One Ladies Detective Agency’ series, the 22nd ‘Scotland Yard’ Series and was half way through a biography on Dame Nelly Melba on the day she passed. …..

Mum continued to reflect on life, her family, her friends and loved to have a good chat. During the last conversation l had with her (the day before her passing), we discussed how she was feeling and how lovely the day had been. Everyone was in her hospital room eating chocolate cake and celebrating my brother Michael’s 30th Birthday and his fiancé Jennie’s birthday. It was to be the last of our conversations that we loved to have ……

One of her main doctors “Amit” commented that she was very unique, as he had not seen a case like hers in either the UK or here in Australia. But that is Mum; she has always been one of a kind, a unique and special individual that we will always cherish with our hearts and minds.

Georgina Birch

Georgina’s good friend, Gina, is an Ambassador for the Snowdome Foundation.

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