"Hester had cancer for a very long time. First diagnosed when she was 21, she went into remission for 9 years. 3 years ago it reappeared in her lungs, and was found to be inoperable. For 2 ½ years it was stable and showed no appreciable changes. Life continued. Not normally, but Hester was fit and healthy. Very few people knew what was happening.
In 2013 it was discovered that the cancer in her lungs was growing and had spread to the lymph nodes in her chest and neck. The cancer was not treatable by most of the available options and chemotherapy had only a 20% chance of having any effect
Hester died on Thursday 7th November at 3:56pm 2013, 8 days before her 35th birthday I was with her. Our 5 and 3 year old daughters were in the same building and had seen her shortly before, but were not present when she died.
I met Hester just over 9 years ago when travelling in Australia. After our journeys entwined travelling up the east coast of Australia, she joined me in my 1974 VW Camper van and we continued on around the entire perimeter of Australia, creating some of the most amazing memories for us both. We returned together and brought our camper van back with us. It was used to transport her to her funeral – so that she left me as she joined me.
At the end, Hester spent the last week of her life in Isabel Hospice In-Patient Unit. They did so much to alleviate her symptoms, and I saw her start to crave food and eat properly again, which I had not seen for over 4 months. Every single person at the hospice, staff and volunteers, were amazing throughout, helping Hester, myself and our girls, and I cannot start to express my gratitude to them all."