Family spurs mother’s cancer battle
When Brooke Malyon received her second cancer diagnosis in February last year, she immediately thought of her eight-weekold daughter.
Charlie’s birth had been a shining light after the darkness of her first cancer bout. Now, with a diagnosis of stage four Hodgkin’s lymphoma, it looked as if she might not get to see her daughter grow up.
It made the 35-year-old Carterton woman even more determined.
‘‘She was my focus,’’ Malyon said. ‘‘I didn’t have a choice.’’
She knew the months ahead would be hard, and they were. Nine weeks of chemotherapy battered her body, before a final dose stripped her insides ahead of a crucial stem cell transplant.
Her hospital visit ended with four weeks of radiation therapy. The process was harrowing, but it worked.
Malyon is now back at home in Carterton and has been in remission since the beginning of the year.
‘‘We just take life week by week at the moment.
‘‘I used to be a planner, but now I just go with the flow. If you focused on what could go wrong, you’d go crazy.’’
Malyon shuddered when thinking about the financial straits her treatment put the family through.
‘‘One of the biggest lessons I learned is how important it is to have insurance. Trauma insurance, medical insurance, income protection ... it’s key.’’
After having time off work she’s back, working four days a week. She hasn’t forgotten the support she and her family received from friends and total strangers, part of which resulted in a Givealittle page that raised nearly $22,000.
Partner Chris Prenter said watching her go through treatment had been a tough experi- ence. Support from friends and family had proved crucial.
‘‘I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. The biggest thing to help us get through it was the people we were surrounded by, that was really important ... but it all seems too far away now. This year has been a complete turnaround.’’
Now, the couple treasure every moment. Malyon spends as much time with her daughter as she can. ‘‘[Charlie’s] my best mate,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s important for me to create memories, to do a lot of fun stuff, because you just don’t know what’s around the corner.’’
Brooke Malyon, pictured last week outside her Carterton home and, above, with daughter Charlie during treatment.