'I'm not afraid of dying': mother of two says
TRUDY Crowley isn't afraid of dying, but as a mother, she does fear the pain her family will feel.
Terminal cancer has given Mrs Crowley, 44, a new perspective - no longer is she going through the motions of life; she says she feels stronger and loves life more.
"As a mother you're there to protect your kids and me falling in a heap isn't going to benefit them - that strength, when you give birth, is an incredible strength and it's come through again," Mrs Crowley said.
This infectious positive attitude is for her boys - her husband Damian, sons Jacob and Levi and grandson Ryan.
She's pouring her heart into the next 12 months and savouring every moment.
Diagnosed with aggressive ovarian cancer, Mrs Crowley is doing everything she can to help her family and others - she's leaving behind a legacy, an event called Nude Lunch.
The lunch will be held on September 23 and the naked truth about ovarian cancer will be exposed, it will also raise money and awareness for Ovarian Cancer Australia.
Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal has also helped to organise a bursary in Mrs Crowley's name that will be awarded to a person aiding the community.
Mrs Crowley said she was motivated to create an event that would hopefully continue on after she was gone.
Known as the silent killer because of its hidden symptoms - Mrs Crowley wants to give a voice to the cancer and make people more aware.
"They say it's a silent killer and I could have kept silent but I'm far from going to do that," she said.
Mrs Crowley started her journey after she felt pain in her side, and like many others, ovarian cancer didn't occur to her as a possibility.
Looking back, Mrs Crowley said one sign had been blood after sex - her husband had suggested she should go to the doctors.
"I just dismissed it as going into 44 this year it's properly just the old girl falling apart," Mrs Crowley said.
On Friday, February 26, Mrs Crowley left work and thought everything was normal.
"We went over to Damian's parents' place and had dinner and drinks, I woke up the next morning and really bad pains in my kidney flanks," she said.
"I just thought it must be kidney infection again but on my neck on my left side my lymphoid was up."
She was in a bit of pain and tired, but Mrs Crowley said she kept pushing herself.
By Monday she was still tired and not feeling better. Later that day, she finally called the doctor to come to her home.
The next week was full of bloods, scans and appointments - it was a time of limbo, what was going on? What could it be? Was it cancer?
The word leukaemia was mentioned and opened up a Pandora's Box of emotions for Mrs Crowley.
"Mum was the same age, 43, when she was diagnosed," Mrs Crowley said.
On March 31, Mr and Mrs Crowley were told news that it was incurable cancer.
But it wasn't leukaemia, Mrs Crowley said "the curve ball" was the enlarged lymphoids were a symptom of secondary cancer - the primary cancer was ovarian.
"Seeing Damo break down was one of the hardest things to see," Mrs Crowley admitted.
She resigned from work that day and called a family meeting to tell her sons.
Just after 5.30pm the couple explained what had happened - their whole world had been turned upside down.
"I just wish I could take the pain away," she said.
Mrs Crowley needed to start chemotherapy immediately.
"It's my life support - it's what's keeping me alive," she said.
Mrs Crowley recently celebrated her birthday with a trip to Sydney and will take her grandson to the Gold Coast to see the theme parks.
"It's all about making memories," she said.
Meanwhile readers on social media have shown support for the mother of two.
WHAT YOU SAID ON FACEBOOK:
Kerry Jane: The determination, courage, and strength that you have in you, is truely inspirational. Keep loving life with all those close to you and keep smiling, because you are truely remarkable.
Ben Phillips: Trudes you epitomise strength, courage, love, inspiration, selflessness. Not only does your family know this but the lives of the people that you have touched directly & indirectly knows this. Stay strong We all luv you and are with you at every step ❤️
Camillaandjohn Livingston: You rock - everyone sound be so grateful every day we wake up and have a chance at life instead of always bemoaning what we don't have - I try every single day to do just that
Morne Hildebrand: I know what your family go through and you have to appreciate every day and may God give you and family strength and you all in my prays.
Tania Choy: Trudy, you are one strong, beautiful lady... Am thinking of you and your family
Stacey Arlott: You are so incredible, so strong my admiration for you is immense. Love you Trudy. ❤️
Ainslee Steigenberger: Love and light to you xxx
Hannah Currie: You are an inspiration Trudy
If you would like to support Trudy Crowley's Nude Lunch presented by Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal, tickets are available from www.redhot blue.com.au.