Hi, My name is Mardi and I’m a 44 year old single Mum of two amazing young adults. What a monumental journey the last 10 and a half years have been. Trust me, this is unfortunately the short version, so much has happened in between. 

Back in late September 2007 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was only 33 going on 34. My kids were 7 and 11. I couldn’t believe it, I was only 2 Years in to running my own business hairdressing and I was thriving. Mum and Dad were super proud of me. Finally lol, I was a bit of a rebel back in my hay day. 

Anyway, I had a mastectomy and an axillary clearance , the pathology came back HER2+ . I needed a huge load of chemotherapy as well. During that my Mum’s cancer had returned and my whole family was devastated. Treatment was tough, Mum and Dad and my friends were awesome, my partner on the other hand was not. He came to one treatment, sat there for 15 minutes, said he had to make a phone call and didn’t come back. I rang him and he said “ this is bullshit, I’m not sitting there with those freaks “. He used to drink all the time and not come home until he thought I was asleep.
Chemo hurt. It made me feel sick and tired and  guess who looked after me in the evening ? Yep, my kids. Something they should never have been subjected to. Anyway I got sucked in by him. 
Towards the end of my treatment my Mum had been helping to look after my daughter and son and had noticed what I’d been telling my family and friends for years, that my daughter was different, she looked after them with Dad even tho she was sick as well. So we got a pediatric appointment and she was diagnosed with autism. So we finally got help for her. 2 Months later my beautiful Mum passed away. I was heart broken. As was the rest of the family. In that year I also lost my young cousin who was killed by a drunk guy riding a motorbike , my uncle from blood cancer, my grandfather and my great uncle from heart attacks, all in the space of 9 months. It was a massive smack in the face.
Grief together with an un supportive partner was so overwhelming. But I was lucky to have great friends and family to help me through. 
In the following year another lump was found in my right breast, so again, another mastectomy, to which didn’t heal and I ended up with golden staph and on iv antibiotics for nearly 2 Years . And more surgery to fix that. Again with no support from my partner. You would think by now I’d get the hint he was a jerk right, nope he kept telling me he’d do better and make promises. Anyway a year or two went by and I had complications with medications and further treatment for nerve damage due to surgery. 
I lost my self esteem in a massive way. To my partner I was a barbie doll, but when I had no hair, no boobs, and no energy he wanted nothing to do with me. My self esteem was shot. I ended up with depression and never wanted to leave the house. I hated me, I couldn’t even look in the mirror, it was like that for 5 years.
So I went and organized reconstruction, well that ended up being a nightmare because the left breast ended up growing a tumor underneath the implant I had and my breast swelled and my skin opened where the scar was and leaked, so they had to remove my left breast. After that I was so disheartened. He once told me that “ the day you got diagnosed you ruined my life”, well sorry I got cancer . Like it was my fault. Well F*^k him. I was starting to see the alcoholic, the control, abuse, manipulation and I could go on. It kept getting worse and worse. And when I got held by my throat and assaulted in another way that was it for me. I had to think of how the hell I was going to get out of this. He had moved me away from my friends, and I had no one .
Then the next worst thing to happen.
I got a call one morning just before my daughters 18th Birthday and my Dad had a massive cardiac arrest, and had been rushed to our local Emergency department. I thought this can’t be happening. I just spoke to him last night. He told me what I needed to do. I fell apart. But I could not let my daughter see this so I swung into action and went to the hospital and sat by dads bed for 12 days, he passed away , it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. 
Well that was it, both Mum and Dad gone, I’d been taken away from my friends and now lost my parents. I had no one. What I did have was more brains than the dip shit hobbit that I was living with. I decided NO MORE , It was over, so now I was working out how to leave and stop the abuse I’d been subjected to for years and was too blind to see it. It was a nightmare , things got messy and scary, police got involved and they had to end up putting a protective order on him just to keep us safe. I didn’t even realize that over the 13 years we were together how sick his abuse actually made me.
I’m already on the improve when it comes to my depression, my daughter and son spend so much more time smiling, I now have an amazingly supportive man in my life that truly loves me the way I am, no boobs and all ;) and all of those friends that I was told didn’t want to be around me, well they are back in my life. 
Apparently they were all given different reasons as to why I didn’t want to see them. Now they all know the truth. 
Since then I’ve only just found out I have two spots on my brain, they can not be shrunk, and will need to be monitored, It sucks but I’ll deal with it. Shit happens I always say. WHAT DOESN'T KILL ME , MAKES ME STRONGER. My Mum played a big part in teaching me strength, courage and determination, hence the reason I have a tattoo of this on the inside of my forearm. 
I’ve had to face so much, and I believe I’ve learned to do it with guts. Time and time again, I’ve loved and lost, am still grieving but appreciating exactly what my parents taught me and opening my heart and mind to every possibility out there. I will continue to fight against domestic violence, strive for good health and thrive for my family. For that reason right there, I am a Beautiful Disaster!

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September 25, 2018