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The Bugallo Family

As any single guy I used to work and go out with mates for a good time on weekends. I was never the type to go out during the week because I was serious about my soccer and that took up all my time.

I met my wife Kimberly through my friend Justin; she was living upstairs from him and his girlfriend. She was also sharing with my future best man.

Our first child Annalise was born and she was such a great baby. It was a testing time for us though as I worked night shift and Kimberly worked 9-5. When our second child Eva was born we decided to renovate our home to accommodate our growing family.Once renovations were done we sold the house, quickly I might add and purchased a 1/4 acre block in Glen Alpine. The girls loved the new place because it had a pool!.

During this time we received the devasting news that Kimberly had been diagnosed with cancer. My number one aim was to get her well, which meant I was the only one providing financial support for our family. A rise in interest rates forced us to sell up and had to move to a rental property.

Kimberly opted to have her breast removed to give her the best chance at recovery. It was tough losing our house and hoping Kimberly would be ok. Our dream was to save and once again buy a house with a pool.

When received the heartbreaking news that the cancer had spread to Kim’s liver that dream got further away. We were told to plan for the worst. I was working hard to maintain our finances and care for my wife and two girls. I would put on a brave face and remained positive so the girls would not be worried. Kim was exhausted from all the treatment but would always mange a smile on her face for our girls.

Sharing our story still brings tears to my eyes.

After a long battle with cancer Kim deceided to stop treatment, she had accepted that she was not going to recover and just wanted to live the life she had left without chemo in her system. This was one of the hardest moments to live through. We both cried as Kim told our two beautiful girls that she was not going to make it.

I would spend my days wondering how I was going to raise our two girls on my own. I would spend countless nights watching her breathe. I nursed her, fed her, and would shower her so she would feel like a woman.

The cancer eventually spread so far it affected her mind and her body started to fail. She requested that she go to palliative care, as she was adamant that she did not want to die at home whilst her mother was there caring for the girls while I was at work.

We waited patiently for a bed to be available and the day before she was moved we nearly lost her. She was so relieved when the ambulance came to transport her. She was so happy when she arrived at Camdon Palliative Care, the staff there took great care of her. Later that evening the pain and the swelling of the liver were so strong that they had to inject her with drugs to get her to relax. She started to get disoriented and was saying this is horrible over and over again. I knew in my heart the end was close.

I went outside for a smoke to gather my thoughts and when a thunderstorm came I new it was going to be the last time I saw her. She was always strong willed and this was a perfect example of her will. She sure went out with a bang. She didn’t make it through the night. I was glad I got to tell her I loved her and that I would do my best to take care of our girls. It really was for better or worse, till death do us part.

Its been just over a year since she left us and I can honestly say I have learnt a lot about all aspects of life. I have had help from loved ones, which I am so grateful for. I am beginning to feel like happy days are coming.

Alex Bugallo

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