Raising Hope for the Hales

Back in late 2008 early 2009 when I was pregnant with Rowan I started using Bounty and joined the Due in July 2009 forum.  In my previous tow pregnancies I like many expectant mums had received the Bounty Packs, I had popped on to the website to have a look but never joined in before but during this pregnancy I decided to join in the discussions.  I am so glad I made that decision, the friendships and support that I gained through Bounty during my third pregnancy proved to be invaluable to me at a time when I was experiencing a difficult pregnancy and problems at work.  I still cherish the friendships I made on the due in July 2009 forum.  I know that no matter how small my worry or problem there was always people at the other end of the computer who would provide support no matter what.  Several of the mums to be experienced difficulties during their pregnancies and some delivered their babies prematurely.  But we formed a bond that has made us quite a formidable bunch of mums (there are around 96 of us) and there is still nothing that we can not overcome.  These days we all gather on facebook and it is lovely to still have that bond over two years later.  For one of us life has dealt another terrible blow but the Due in July 2009 mums are pulling out all the stops to help in whatever way we can.  Here is Maxine’s Story:
Maxine Hales is our friend. A friend through a forum from bounty.com. We met because we were all due to give birth in July 2009. Maxine went into premature labour and after much effort to prolong her pregnancy, she finally gave birth to Ollie in June, 6 weeks early.

Ollie developed GBS infection and things were touch and go – a difficult time for the family.

This affected many of us and we became very close as a group.

The family have been catapulted into turmoil once more, as Maxine’s hubby has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Her life-long partner, she describes Simon as her soul mate.

Anyone who has been affected by the “BIG C” knows how stressful this time can be – how draining it is on your health, emotions and money!

The girls from PDIJuly09 want to try and relieve some of this burden – so here we are! xxx

This is Maxine’s heartbreaking story in her own words:

Simon and myself met in 1987 when I was 17. Shortly before we met I had been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, cancer of the lymph glands. I had to undergo intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy but I have now been in remission for 23 years.
Simon and I went our separate ways for one reason and another however we always kept in touch.
I was married at 19 and although I was told that I was unlikely to be able to have children due to the chemo, I had 2 children but the marriage did not last
I was 27 when Simon and I finally got back together and I realised that I should never have married another man, this man was my soul mate, so caring and polite a perfect gentleman! He always said that he had ‘waited for me’ he is such a romantic!
Simon proposed to me on holiday in Cyprus! I sat high up on the seating of the Roman amphitheatre in Paphos, he stood at the bottom and said ‘to all the ghosts of all the Romans who have been here before us…this is the woman I am going to marry’ that was the happiest day of my life x I adore him x
We decided to try for a baby and were so happy when I first found out I was pregnant, but we suffered a miscarriage at 12 weeks, we were so upset but we soon concieved again. It was a difficult pregnancy (I don’t do straight forward pregnancies as all my Bounty friends know well!) I was in and out of hospital with problems and I went into labour at 23 weeks. Baby Alexander was born asleep, and even though we had him blessed and held him, this was still counted as a miscarriage. We never refer to this as a miscarriage, we always say he was born asleep. We were devastated. Soon after the birth I was rushed to theatre for life saving surgery as the placenta had not detached completely and I was haemorrhaging. Simon was allowed to sleep in a side room with me at the hospital. We had lost our son, and I almost lost my life. We said to each other in the days after, that if we could come through this then we could face anything together, nothing can be worse than the loss of a child. We were so wrong.
We had a fabulous wedding in December 2002!
Amelia was born on Christmas Day 2003 after another difficult pregnancy which I spent mostly in hospital, we nearly lost her several times as the amniotic fluid kept draining away, but she was strong and she made it, making our lives complete x we love her so much and her daddy dotes on her! She was and still is a daddy’s girl!
I had several cancer scares in the meantime and my health deteriorated badly. i had lots of tests as it was thought I had MS, the results proved inconclusive and it was decided that the treatment I had had for the Hodgkins had damaged the nerve endings in my body
Oliver was not planned! but we were over the moon when we found out I was pregnant again! Another majorly difficult pregnancy, with many weeks in hospital. Labour stopped and started and eventually Oliver came along in June 09 six weeks early. Poor little man did not have a good start as he had to go into neonatal care as he was having problems breathing. He had been infected with the Group B Strep and had to have Amoxil and had to suffer a lumber puncture at only two days old. He pulled through and is now a very cheeky 2 year old!
Throughout all of this my amazing husband looked after us all so well he never once complained even though he had to balance hospital visits with work and child care. he has always been really healthy we never imagined this would all change so quickly
June this year I was finally diagnosed with adenomyosis, a disease of the womb which is a bit like endometriosis but inside the womb rather than without. The lining of the womb grows into the muscle wall causing unbearable pain very much like contractions, it also affected my legs and gave me headaches, I was constantly in pain until I had a full hysterectomy in September
Two days after my operation Simon suddenly fell ill. He felt sick all of the time and complained of excruciating pain in his stomach. Even so soon after my op i felt better, the pain was gone, and we were looking forward to moving on with our lives and doing all of the things I couldn’t do before the surgery, we were just about to book a holiday in Turkey. But Simon didn’t get better, this was on and off for a month, after a few visits to the GP where we were told he probably had a virus, I had to rush him into A&E. He was deteriorating so badly, he couldn’t keep down any fluids and was de-hydrating badly. It was only a short time before he was given a CT scan where a blockage on his bowel was found as well as a ‘shadow’ on his liver. He had to have major surgery to remove the blockage and take a biopsy of his liver. He did not recover very well from surgery and he is still recovering now.
This is where it gets difficult for me too write….
We knew it was cancer, we knew it was bad, but on 28th October our lives were torn apart. The oncologist told us that Simon cannot be cured. The cancer had spread from his bowel to his liver, vertebrae and possibly appendix. My fabulous wonderful and amazing husband will receive chemotherapy to keep him alive and free of pain for as long as possible. It hurts so much to think the love of my life and the lovely daddy to our children will not be with me for very much longer. We do not know how long he has left, that depends on his body’s reaction to the chemo. All I know that is if I did not have our beautiful children i could never get through this, but I have to for them. It is so frightening to think that if my cancer returns, what will happen to our babies? How cruel is life to take away a lovely daddy from his children? It is a nightmare, and we cannot wake up.
I would just like the time we have left together to be worry free. We were in the middle of renovating our home, Simon was doing most of the work himself, obviously he cannot continue to do this. I have had to close down my business to look after him and the children. it is so important that this is finished as building work is left incomplete the house is cold and the bathroom is apalling, he has his first chemotherapy session on November 22nd.
x Love Max x

Here is the link to the facebook page the Due in July 2009 have set up for the family https://www.facebook.com/RaisingHopeforTheHales?sk=info 
We would be very grateful if you could come and support the page.  On December 2nd 2011from 11am until Sunday 4th December at 8.30pm,  we will be holding an auction to raise money for the family on facebook.  Many very generous individuals and businesses have already donated items to the auction.  We aim to raise some money for the family that will help them have some cherish memories and also provide them with much needed support during this difficult time.  If you would like to donate an item for the auction please contact either via the facebook page or you can email myself at www.welshmumof3@gmail.com and I will pass the information on.  There are some really fantastic items up for grabs in the auction so please tell your friends and family and join in the auction.  Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. 

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