Helen Louise Endersby was and will always be the love of my life. My beautiful Helen passed away on 4 June 2015 aged 44 years old. Helen passed away from bowel cancer. Helen’s wish was to bring awareness to bowel cancer and to let women know that if you have a urine infection and it isn’t getting better after a few weeks/months don’t accept that it is just a urine infection. If the infection doesn’t go away and isn’t getting better go back and resolve the issue with your doctor or get a second opinion.
Helen had a second opinion, the doctor booked Helen into a urinoscopy. That came up clear of any cancer, however, after this the doctor booked her into a colonoscopy. Unfortunately, it showed bowel cancer. On the day of our daughter’s sixth birthday, 13 June 2013, the day after Helen’s colonoscopy, Helen had her first bowel operation. That afternoon Helen was told that cancer had spread to her bladder and that they had taken out what they could and told us to go to the next stage of chemotherapy and radiation.
After enduring months of chemotherapy and radiation, we were told that neither had worked and Helen’s only chance was to have her bowel, bladder and ovaries removed in one operation which would result in a bowel and urine bag. Due to the complication of the operation, we were sent to Peter McCallum Hospital for Cancer in Melbourne. We went for 4 days to see if they could do the operation and stayed for 10 weeks. The operation consisted of removing most of the bowel, appendix, bladder and a full hysterectomy in one operation.
During these 10 weeks, we were unable to see our little Lily as she had gone to Wagin to be looked after by her Granny Roz. We also left behind my son Matt and daughter Nicola who I had from a previous marriage. I met Helen when Nicola was 4 and Matt was 2. Helen was a wonderful loving friend and mother to my two children and loved them very much. I will always be grateful to Helen for loving us all. We also missed our only grandson Riley Bear who was 3 years old at the time.
When we came back to Perth Helen felt a bit better. They reversed her bowel bag and Helen thought that she could carry on with her life. Helen even started to go back to work for a few days a week. Then Helen was told that cancer had come back and that there wasn’t much they could do. They started chemo again then things became worse Helen ended up with two fistulas. One had come through to the outside of her stomach and the other connected to her bowel and urine. I didn’t think anything was worse than cancer but my poor Helen had to endure even more. It was absolutely horrific the pain Helen went through.
We ended up in Fiona Stanley Hospital, where all the staff and teams of doctors were amazing. They would sit on the floor of the bathroom and cry with Helen. They were so wonderful and they really cared. I was lucky enough to always be with Helen when she stayed in hospital although I saw all the pain and procedures poor Helen went through. I feel I am blessed to have been able to stay with Helen through thick and thin.
Helen became worse over the next few weeks and was transferred to intensive care. She stayed in intensive care for a few days then on a Monday morning the Team of doctors came to see us. Helen was told that she would pass away maybe the next day but that they could get her home within 4 hours, and send a hospital bed to our house.
Helen came home that Monday afternoon she was transferred by ambulance from Fiona Stanley to our house in Bayswater. On the way home the ambulance had a flat tire. She sat looking at the swan river and chatting to the ambulance driver who happened to have worked with Helen years earlier. Helen loved sitting near the Swan River and she enjoyed her chat with Ces the ambulance driver. After a short time, another ambulance came along and I meet Helen at the house. Helen ended up having a wonderful 10 days at home, and finally the last 10 days of her life she wasn’t in pain. We had a house full of family and friends.
The day before Helen passed away we all met Marlene to make funeral arrangements. Helen was pleased to make the arrangements she wanted for her passing. I would always sleep near Helen during the night in case she needed help. At 3 am on 4 June I was awakened by someone poking my shoulder 3 times. I knew it was Helen even though she was asleep and couldn’t reach me. I grabbed a chair and sat quietly next to Helen shortly after Lily came in she said mum had been calling her to come to sit with her. At 4 am I asked Helen if she wanted me to get her mum, sister and brother who were staying with us. She turned her head towards me opened her eyes. I knew that Helen wanted me to get her family. I went to wake up all three but they had each woken at 3 am in the morning. We sat quietly with Helen until her final breath at 6 am that morning.
When they came to take Helen away I said to Lily “Do you want to give mum a kiss goodbye?”, Lily said, “I will give mum a kiss, but do you know dad mum is already an angel and it’s just a body”. Lily was so brave. I feel lucky to have shared this journey with my soulmate. I’m thankful for all the wonderful family, friends, and staff at Peter McCallum in Melbourne, Fiona Stanley in Perth, that have helped us through this terrible ordeal. While we were in Fiona Stanley, Helen came up with The Downpipe Vertical Garden which is due to be released in late 2019. Because of this idea I came up with the products you know see on this website.
Helen stayed brave, courageous and happy until her last breath. She will always be the love of my life and my inspiration. One day we will be together again.
– Helen’s Loving Husband Mark
Always and forever my egg xx