My name is Kathleen Evans. I’m married to Barry. I’m a mother of 5 and a grandmother of 20 including 2 great grandchildren. I come from the small town of Windale in Lake Macquarie. In the 1990’s, I was diagnosed with a non small carcinoma in my right lung.
After x-rays and scans were taken, my GP sent me to a heart, lung surgeon. He put me in hospital for a biopsy. The surgeon explained that he hoped to remove my right lung as my youngest child was only 13. And by taking the lung out, it might give me 5 or 6 years to see him through high school. What he found was that the cancer was very aggressive and had spread into my glands. He was concerned that one of the glands was too close to the aorta. He also asked for an x-ray of my head to be taken. He found that a secondary had started at the bottom of my brain. This put paid to any operation.
I was then sent to a chemotherapist who gave me no hope of the chemotherapy working.
The next step was radiotherapy, only to be told that any ray treatment would help with the side effects and perhaps give me a couple more weeks at the end. For this to happen, I would have to go to the hospital for 10 consecutive days. I was too sick for that. Besides the odds were just not worth it. I was only given a couple of months at the most to live. So I said thanks, but no thanks. I went back to my doctor and asked him to see me through until the end. All this took 1 month.
All I had left was prayer. I was a great believer in prayer. The next few weeks were hard times. I was unable to stay out of bed for any length of time. I would get the shakes so bad that my husband would have to lay on me to ease them down. I couldn’t bath or shower myself or even use the toilet on my own. I suffered from night sweats and found it hard to breathe. I was in a bad way.
Where did Mary come into my life?
I had a friend who lived in the Hunter Valley. She gave me a picture of Mary MacKillop. Attached to the back, was a piece of Mary’s clothing. This is called a relic. I wore this relic on my nightie and later on my clothing. It never left me. She also gave me some prayer cards that had been given to her by the Sisters here at Mount Street. They were given out to all my family and friends asking them to pray the same prayer, asking Mary to pray with us to God for nine days on my behalf.
Instead of my health deteriorating, I started to get stronger. I was even able to stay out of bed longer. Within 2 weeks, I was able to go on a weekend retreat. Now I wasn’t jumping over the moon, but I was able to attend every session over that weekend and I have never looked back.
My doctor wanted me to have more tests done about 4 months later because as he said, I just should not be here. It wasn’t until another 3 months, which was 10 months from being diagnosed, that I went back to have those tests, to be told there was no sign of cancer anywhere, just scarring where the cancer had been.
So after all this time I can say I’m still here and very well and enjoying life to the fullest.