Bowel Cancer New Zealand: Willy, my 35-year-old husband, was the most sincere family man and friend. Willy loved riding, free diving for paua, and spearfishing on Kaikoura’s shore from his Chatham Islands upbringing. He loved cooking and always made a seafood and dessert buffet for family reunions.
Willy had fantastic friends and a nice job that let him spend time with our two little sons, Rocco and Roman (2 & 4). He lived life fully and had the perfect work-life balance. With booze and cigarettes, he was the party animal. His huge belly laugh could be heard everywhere.
In March 2020, Willy and I collected firewood—big circular tree trunk pieces he cut. After raising the last wood, Willy’s back hurt and he tripped for a week.
The following week, Willy’s condition worsened so much that I had to summon an ambulance as the country prepared for lockdown. He was in discomfort and sweaty, barely moving. A spinal infection was suspected due to his severe pain.
Two days later, Willy’s physicians discovered intestinal cancer while fighting his pain. Surgery would allow him to recover and live normally. As his condition progressed, we found cancer in his spine and several lymph nodes.
On April 21, 2020, we called Willy’s oncologist due to COVID-19, who reported his cancer activity was at an all-time high. Willy was told three weeks to live after a spine biopsy revealed Mutant Braf malignancy. This illness killed him. We grieved on our bed as we processed this news. Soon, our lovely life with our two young sons will end.