I will never forget the first time I met Kim in person. We met at a hotel near Central Station in Sydney and her laughter was cheeky and infectious. I instantly liked her and our souls connected. It felt like we’d known each other for years and beers.
My friend Kim passed away last week from cancer and my world is shattered. I’ve lost one of my dearest friends.
Our friendship started in 2008 on the Essential Baby forum pages. Kim was trying to conceive her third child and I was learning the ropes trying to conceive my first. Other members joined our support group and before we knew it, we had a female posse of seven chicky babes all trying to get knocked up. After a few months of chatting online to one another, we all decided to meet up in person and hit the town one night. Sydney was the chosen location and the inter-state girls flew in for the weekend.
That was the first time I met Kim and the other girls.
Over the years, we supported each other through miscarriages, pregnancy announcements, baby showers, pre-mature births and so much more.
Kim was the first person to send me flowers when I lost my bubbas. She never missed a birthday and God damn she could give a good pep talk when my world was rubbish. Her unwavering support during my struggle to conceive, her support for this blog and her support when I started my Web Design Biz for Blogger were nothing short of fan-FUCKING-tastic.
The girl had my back no matter what. That’s true friendship.
In early 2014, Kim reached out to me and asked me to help her with a business idea. She wanted to create a coaching business around health and wellness for busy mum’s. Within a few months, we had brain stormed a business name (Healthy Zest) and business plan and I got to work creating a website and logo for her. We bonded even deeper over blogging and soon enough Kim was joining my blogging courses and FB groups. We fine tuned her coaching business ethics, programs and offerings and soon she was rocketing. Her big break came when Kim was asked to join the Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution movement for her regional area of Gippsland. Soon after, the local newspaper were asking for a photo shoot and press release AND the local schools wanted to run clean eating workshops.
But her big dream was a cookbook. A healthy, clean eating breakfast cookbook aimed at busy mums and dads. Kim wrote the recipes, tested the recipes, fine-tuned the recipes, hired a food stylist, hired a food photographer, found an eBook designer and self-published her very own cookbook. This is when I saw Kim bloom at her best. Healthy eating was her passion. Educating busy parents and school kids to make a healthy food choice.
In February this year, Kim released her Burst of Breaky Cookbook into the world. My heart was bursting with pride for the girl. Her dream was now a reality. Kim could now add the title of ‘author‘ to her list.
There was no stopping this girl now.
In March this year, I started my final IVF cycle. Kim would text me or call me most days to see how I was feeling & coping. She’d give me a pep talk if I needed it or just listened if I wanted to cry and rage. Again, her love and support were right there for me to take if I needed it.
The following month I discovered I was preggers. After telling Mr Lover the happy news first, Kim was the very next person to be told my happy news.
But things took a turn in May this year. Kim had been unwell for a few weeks. An upset stomach and feeling ‘off’. Her doctor assumed a tummy bug must have been caught from her rain water tank and prescribed antibiotics. A week later, a second course of antibiotics were given because Kim was still unwell. After three weeks, her Dr finally sent her to the hospital for an MRI. Kim was freaking out at the hospital and texting me like a mad woman. I was instructing her to stop Googling symptoms.
Me: Google can either be your BFF or worst enemy
Kim: Yeah, cancer or a sniffle
Me: Ask for a valium
Kim: Brain tumour?
Me: It won’t be cancer.
Kim: Yep, positive thinking. Except what happens if I can never drink wine again!
A day or two later, Kim called me. She had secondary liver cancer and the Doctors now needed to find out where the primary cancer was. Then came the big diagnosis, Stage 4 bowel cancer. Pretty fucking bad. Kim was a health nut! A Health and Wellness Coach for God’s sake! Stage 4 cancer with hardly any symptoms?? Kim was a wife, mother to 3 kids, a daughter, sister, niece, aunt and my friend. I was so shocked to hear my friend had cancer and a huge battle on her hands.
Now it was my turn to give the pep talks. I sent postcards before each chemo treatment, little care packages and we still managed to keep the humour alive. It was our thing! We could always make each other laugh no matter what the circumstances were. Kim was a trooper and fought her cancer battle with fierce force. There was no way in her world that cancer was going to take her away from her 3 young kids.
Wednesday 16th September, I called Kim after her latest surgery to see how she was holding up. Her spirits were way down and all my cheeky comments and positivity were declined. I tried listening instead and allowing Kim to do the talking but her pain made it hard to chat. The humour was gone and I knew my girl was in a bad place.
Friday 18th September, Kim messaged me to say she was in lots of pain and now on oxygen. I stupidly assumed her recovery from surgery was going to take a while.
On Tuesday 22nd September, my call went unanswered. I sent a message asking how she was feeling. Her response to me didn’t make any sense. I stupidly put it down to her meds – morphine. I had no idea my friend was dying. She was just recovering from surgery, right?
Thursday 24th September, a close friend of Kim’s sent me a message with the news that Kim was in her final hours. I shook my head and re-read the message. Kim was in her final hours. I let out a scream, the blood rushed from my head to feet and I broke down in body shuddering sobs.
Her battle was short lived. Just 4 months after receiving her cancer diagnosis, Kim passed away on Thursday evening. Not once did she talk about dying. It just wasn’t part of her plan.
Kim’s absence from my life has left a huge gapping hole. The instant grief is overwhelming and the very basic functions like showering and making a cup of tea, became a challenge in the days after her death. The sadness, the loss of our friendship and the hopelessness all came crashing down on me the following day. The only thing to do was to give in to it and feel it. Feel it all.
Kimmy, if you are listening. I love you. I miss you. Know how much you were loved. I shall miss you terribly next week at my baby shower – the day won’t be the same without you there babe. Give your bubba Kailen a gigantic cuddle and secure the best seat in the clouds so you can watch your 3 kids Tyler, Kayley and Zac grow up.
Babe, when my time comes to join you, be waiting for me with a cold bottle of wine, two straws.
Indeed my heart is broken.