Mum is an ‘emo­tional wreck’ af­ter bad luck

North Harbour News - - HEALTH - DANIELLE CLENT

A can­cer pa­tient who had just un­der­gone her sec­ond mas­tec­tomy says she is at the end of her tether.

Just days af­ter Karen Beck­house was ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal in Jan­uary for a blood in­fec­tion, her car was stolen from out­side her West Har­bour home.

Now, she has no way of vis­it­ing her ter­mi­nally-ill daugh­ter who lives on the other side of Auck­land.

‘‘It’s just one thing af­ter the other,’’ Beck­house said.

‘‘We’ve just had so much bad luck as a fam­ily.’’

Beck­house was first di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer in 2000. She un­der­went a par­tial mas­tec­tomy but the can­cer came back in March 2017.

Her left breast was re­moved in Novem­ber.

Beck­house said her daugh­ter Michelle El­liot was di­ag­nosed with a brain tu­mour five years ago.

Her di­ag­no­sis of oligo­den­drogliomas ac­counted for about 3.5 per cent of pri­mary brain tu­mours, the Brain Tu­mour Char­ity web­site said.

She was given up to 10 years to live but Beck­house said she was de­te­ri­o­rat­ing.

‘‘It’s hor­ri­ble. She gets her sen­tences mud­dled up and it’s re­ally sad.

‘‘I’ve tried [help­ing] but I just end up sick. It’s just stress and worry about how we are go­ing to cope.’’

Beck­house said her daugh­ter was liv­ing on her own with four chil­dren.

Seizures stopped her from be­ing able to drive, so Beck­house drove to her.

But with her car stolen and no in­surance, she couldn’t visit.

Beck­house wasn’t able to let po­lice know about the car un­til a month later be­cause she had been sick.

‘‘Without a car, I can’t see her,’’ the 60-year-old said. ‘‘Now I’m just an emo­tional wreck.’’

Beck­house said she was try­ing to deal with the fam­ily is­sues dur­ing her month-long stay at Waita¯ kere Hos­pi­tal.

But the stress made it worse. ‘‘One nurse said I was al­lowed to cry and I said ‘I won’t stop’.

‘‘That doesn’t achieve any­thing. I need to do some­thing to help them.’’

Beck­house had set up a Givealit­tle page to try raise money to help El­liot as she couldn’t do so her­self.

The money would go to­wards El­liot spend­ing qual­ity time with her chil­dren be­fore she got too sick and po­ten­tially move closer to fam­ily.


Karen Beck­house has had a belt of bad luck with breast can­cer, a ter­mi­nally-ill daugh­ter and a stolen car.

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