Bundy mum now with angels after losing cancer battle
UPDATE3.30pm : BUNDABERG mother Sally Weller passed away this morning after a battle with cancer.
Her sister Kellie Mortensen shared her story in today's NewsMail in hopes of raising awareness about the importance of checking moles for melanoma as it could happen at any age.
Mrs Mortensen thanked the community for its kind words after reading her sister's story.
EARLIER: "MUM will be an angel soon."
These are the words 32-year-old Sally Weller tells daughter, Laylah, 4, as she knows her fight is nearly over.
Doctors don't expect her to make it to the weekend.
As a mother Mrs Weller puts her children first, they are her world, and protecting them is a first instinct.
This is why the mother-of-two will not let Laylah or her 10-year-old son Tylah see her in such suffering.
With the older members of her family by her side at hospital Mrs Weller, who can longer speak, only whisper, shares her story through her sister Kellie Mortensen.
Last Friday Mrs Weller went to renew her wedding vows with the love of her life, Gavin Weller, but before she could she was taken back to hospital where she will spend her final days.
She was diagnosed with melanoma when she was pregnant with her youngest child four years ago. She was 28 years old at the time.
The news shattered the close-knit Bundaberg family, who grew up in a time when sun protection wasn't as prevalent as today.
"When we were kids and you came home burnt - it just meant you'd had the most fun that day," Mrs Mortensen said.
"Sally's never been a sun baker though and the mole wasn't even in an area where the sun would see."
That mole was removed and scans later showed Mrs Weller was cancer free.
It's been a turbulent 18 months for the woman described as bubbly, outgoing and selfless, who maintained her health to make sure she was cancer free with three-monthly scans.
"Just before Australia Day last year Sally had a lump in her groin and scans showed the cancer had spread to her stomach and it was now stage three," her sister said.
"She had surgery and it was removed."
Thinking the worst was over Mrs Weller moved on with her life, spending time with Laylah and Tylah, making the most of what they had.
This is when devastation hit for a third time.
In September last year a mass came up on her chest, but biopsy results were inconclusive.
"The doctors put her on immunotherapy, but it didn't do anything to the mass so they thought it wasn't cancer," Mrs Mortensen said.
"They thought maybe the lump, which was about 5mm, was a form of tonsillitis and decided to watch the lump over time.
"It lay dormant, and four months ago she was discharged and told she was cancer free again."
But just seven weeks ago, Mrs Weller was busy helping her sister prepare for the biggest day of her life - her wedding, when in the midst of the celebratory mood, things took a turn for the worse.
"Her face just started to swell and she went to hospital and scans showed the lump had grown massively," Mrs Mortensen said.
"She was flown to Brisbane for testing, but all she wanted to do was get back to Bundy for my wedding."
The tumour had now grown so big the mother-of-two was no longer able to speak, but only whisper as the tumour wrapped around her windpipe.
"They let her come home for my wedding, she returned to Brisbane just after for surgery," she said.
"But the doctors said it was too dangerous to perform surgery and sent her home to fight the cancer with radiation and chemotherapy."
Knowing she was about to lose her hair her daughter, sisters and mum each braided and cut her hair off, as a keepsake for the one known as the fighter.
After three weeks of treatment the doctors advised the family it wasn't working and a plan should be put in place.
Treatment was stopped and Mrs Weller was sent home for palliative care.
"She didn't want to pass away at home or have the children see her like this," Mrs Mortensen said.
It takes a lot of strength to hide your illness from the people you love and continue to live for them.
"The reason she is so strong is because of her kids, she wants them to know how strong mummy was and she tried so hard to be with them," Mrs Mortensen said.
"And she wishes she could be here for them but she will be watching them always."