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Kate and I were on a journey some five years ago as a young professional couple enjoying what we made of life together. Friends, family, work and play. At this time, neither Kate nor I questioned the eventual misdiagnosis of Kate’s sore stomach. We referred to this time with a cautious tone of humour as “B.C.” – Before Cancer
The day that Kate was correctly diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours and the ‘C’ word was first used was hugely confronting, confusing, destroying and yet galvanising. It set off a long chain of events that included blood tests, anaesthetics, laparoscopies, open surgery, daily infusions and oral chemotherapy, angiogenesis infusions, radiolabelled octreotide infusions, continuous inline chemotherapy infusions, subcutaneous injections and whole brain radiation treatments, mammograms, echocardiograms, bone scans, octreoscans, PET scans, CT scans, gallium scans, and MRI scans. Along with those events, there was the 100’s of various doctor’s appointments both locally and internationally, international medical conferences, naturopathy appointments, 1000’s of hours in waiting rooms, and 100’s of letters encouraging doctors and institutions to support this relatively rare, poorly diagnosed and researched disease. She was the champion of her own cause.
Although this had become a huge part of our new journey together, Kate’s approach was to fill our life with normal, day to day & special occasions, never allowing her challengers to control her, her family or those around her. Because of her approach, our life became what we referred to as a ‘new normal’ and we became more in love as we faced more of this life together.
I am so proud of Kate because of how she stepped forward, not backwards when diagnosed to actively find her cure to live.
I am so proud of Kate because of how she bravely faced those private inner fears.
\I am so proud of Kate because of how she inspired people (whether healthy or not) to enjoy life.
I am so proud of Kate because of how she cared for, and comforted others, when others were coming to comfort her.
I am so proud of Kate because of how focused she was to leave no stone un-turned, no question un-asked, and no option un-tested.
I am so proud of Kate because of how her tireless work and approach inspired the formation of the Unicorn Foundation which will carry on her work, and support many others.
I am so proud of Kate because of how she loved and valued life.
I am truly in awe of my wife.
My beautiful girl's battle tragically ended on the 24 March 2010, but her legacy will continue on through her wonderfully loving and supportive family, her loyal and passionate friends, and the Unicorn Foundation. Her fight, her work, her passion, her inspiration, her life was not in vain, but will now help light up an otherwise poorly lit path, too often travelled by neuroendocrine patients and their loved ones.
Nick Carr, Cancer Carer and Husband of Kate Carr