In late 2011 Rebecca Weeding married the love of her life, Robert, with their two gorgeous children Maddy (seven) and Cohan (two) by their side. She was 25-years old.
Two months later, in January 2012, Rebecca was diagnosed with astrocytoma, a slow growing 7.5cm inoperable stage two brain-swelling tumor, a malignant cancer. Incredibly Rebecca didn’t feel sick and the enormity of her diagnosis didn’t quite register until she told her family and friends. Telling her dad and her seven-year-old daughter Maddy were the hardest.
The doctors told Rebecca that the tumour had been growing in her brain for the last ten years, and was most likely the cause of her constant headaches and blurred vision.
Rebecca immediately began treatment at the Mater Hospital in Brisbane, five times a week for three months. She was put on a steroid to try and reduce the swelling in her brain. The steroid combined with radiation, and a biopsy on her brain has had terrible side effects. She lost all of her hair, her weight doubled and even now Rebecca suffers severe memory loss and seizures.
All this considered, it is the little things that Rebecca finds the hardest; not being able to drive her children to school, not being allowed to be left alone with her children (in case of a seizure), no being able to zip out to the shops to pick up bread / milk, not being able to bend down to give her young children a cuddle, or get down on the floor to change her young son’s nappy. Rebecca felt completely out of control of every aspect of her life.
Rebecca required so much support during her treatment that her whole family unit moved in with Rebecca’s parents. Rebecca describes Robert, her husband as her rock.
Rebecca and Robert tried their best to shield their kids from the turmoil, and tried to live as normally as possible throughout Rebecca’s treatment, opting to have night time radiation. Each day’s routine was to remain as normal as possible, spending the afternoons / evenings in their usual dinner, bath, bed routine. Only after the kids were tucked snuggly in their beds, Rebecca’s parents would mind the children while Robert would drive her the 30 min trip to Brisbane’s Mater hospital for her treatment. Robert then fronted for work every morning at 7am the next day.