Pambula mother-of-three, Tracey Beasley, is facing a familiar and daunting task.
Early on Thursday morning, February 11, she will having brain surgery for the second time to remove a tumor that has grown back after it was removed last year.
Tracey was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma in late 2014 and has spent the past year fighting ferociously to spend more time with her children. After her diagnosis doctors found a large brain tumour which was confirmed as a secondary melanoma to one that was removed a decade ago.
People always call me brave, but I’m not brave, I’ve got no choice but to go through it all the best way I can and to be here for as long as I can for my kids.- Tracey Beasley
“People always call me brave, but I’m not brave, I’ve got no choice but to go through it all the best way I can and to be here for as long as I can for my kids,” she said.
“Brain surgery second time round is riskier but it’s my only option.”
The good news is that despite a risk of complications due to the surgery it looks as though Tracey’s recent radiation treatment has done some good.
“I didn’t realise it at the time but the neurosurgeon said it has done its job. When I had the original brain tumour I also had peppering on the brain, now when they look at the scans there is only the tumour not the peppering so that is a good sign.”
But no matter how much she tries, Tracey is finding it harder and harder to stay positive about her situation. On Wednesday morning, February 10, only 24 hours before her surgery she shared her doubts on her Facebook page.
“I am not feeling prepared or positive this time round at all,” she said.
“I feel sad and emotionally drained from much of what has gone on lately. The only way I can look at it this time is that surgery will be an escape from reality at the moment.
“I hope out the other side I can find my mojo again and the changes I am making will be benefit the kids and be better for us all. It has to better than it is now anyway.”
On top of Tracey’s upcoming brain surgery, she will also have to continue treatment to her lungs which unfortunately haven’t responded as well as they had hoped to the Keytruda treatment.
“I currently have a tumour in each lung, obviously we are going to continue treatment and just hope for the best,” she said.
In the weeks leading up to Thursday’s brain surgery Tracey spent a lot of time thinking and decided it was time to share more details of her story and has now started writing a blog.
“I have always thought, since I first got melanoma at 19 that maybe there was a reason to it all, that I can use this to make a difference to other people’s lives,” Tracey said.
“I don’t want to be in people’s faces all the time but I have found that people do care and people seem to want to know more.
“The response has been amazing, it is reaching people and it is touching people. If any part of my journey touches someone in any way then it’s worth it.”
For the time being though, Tracey’s main goal is to get through this next surgery and continue spending time with her children.
With the surgery in Canberra, Tracey’s children will be taking a week off school to stay with their father in Canberra. Tracey said it’s hard knowing that she is taking them out of school but she was eternally grateful to Pambula Public School who have given each child some work to do while they are away.
“I just hope that all of this doesn’t set my children back in any way. I know this is hard for them and there are times when they struggle with everything and can be a bit teary.
“What’s amazing is the support I have received from the community throughout the past year. Everyone has been so fantastic and this is something that I hope my kids will always remember, they’ll always know that they have the support of the entire Sapphire Coast.”
Tracey’s friends and family have once again organised a fundraiser to help with the cost of treatment.
On Friday, February 26, Team Tracey will be hosting a band night featuring Mojo, Andy O’Donnell and Band and others at the Pambula Merimbula Golf Club. The event is open to people over 18 years and costs $20. Tickets can be purchased from the Golf Club.
Tracey said she is hoping that she will have recovered enough from her surgery that she will be able to make it to the band night and looks forward to seeing everyone there.
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