By VIEW editor Brian Pelan
I will always remember the phone call from my brother Tony in 2018 when he told me that his daughter, Lindsey Kennedy, had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
This shocking news was hard to take in. I told my brother that I would call him back to have a longer chat in order to try and compose my thoughts.
Tony and his wife, Margaret, had already endured the horrendous turmoil of seeing their son, Sean, battling cancer (thankfully, he has made a full recovery), and daughter, Roisín, who, twice, has had to try and cope with dealing with breast cancer. She is an extraordinary fighter and no words can truly express my admiration for her.
Lindsey, who lives in Australia, with her partner, John, and their two children, has made a full recovery. She has just written a book, ‘The Little Things’ which documents her own long struggle, since been first diagnosed.
Her story is raw, intimate, funny, inspirational, and life-affirming.
Writing about her initial diagnosis, Lindsey says; “I now realise that nothing could have stopped me from getting cancer, no matter how many vegetables, I ate, no matter how much sugar I cut out, no matter how many squats or lunges I managed, no matter what I did. Cancer did not respect me as a person. It just invited itself in, set up camp and wreaked havoc … that is, until it was caught.”
She also, very gracefully, allows the thoughts of her husband, John, her children, Layla and Lennox, her parents and her siblings, to be recorded in her book.
Mum (Margaret): “Lindsey has always made myself and her father very proud. Whenever she is up against any form of adversity, she stands and deals with whatever is thrown at her.”
Dad (Tony): “Lindsey called me from Australia to tell me the terrible news. Words can’t describe how I felt. She was on the other side of the world. giving me this devastating news and there was nothing I could do except listen.”
Husband (John): “I think they found something’ – five words that knocked the wind out of me, made me fear for Lindsey’s health and feel scared of what lay ahead.”
Lindsey’s book acts as a call for women to regularly check their breasts, and offers support and understanding for those who are dealing with breast cancer. It also allows the author complete control of her own story; and vitally, it signifies, in the end, hope rather than despondency.
Near the end of ‘The Little Things’, Lindsey writes: “As a family, we have been to hell and back, but it’s the ‘back’ that matters. We rise each morning, putting one foot in front of the other, fighting back tears and torment at times as strong, over-qualified warriors. I believe this breast-cancer challenge was designed for my sister and me … designed to make us braver, stronger and more appreciative for the rest of our very long lives.”
• The Little Things – a Breast Cancer Memoir: https://amzn.to/3cmT5Mk