Not long after she gave birth to her son, Freddie, Rowena Darby started to experience stomach pains. Initially, doctors thought it was related to the pregnancy and gave her some general medications for pain. When her pain persisted for six months and started to become unbearable, however, Rowena finally went to the doctor again. After a series of tests, she received a devastating diagnosis: Rowena had developed bowel cancer.
Although she knew that her disease would eventually kill her, Rowena chose to focus on life rather than death. She decided to make the most of her time with her family, and leave behind a beautiful memory for her son.
Though she knew her chances of beating the cancer were bleak, Rowena never lost heart.
Along with her husband, Phil, she chose to focus on hope for the future instead.
Rowena froze some of her eggs before undergoing treatment, just in case they wanted to find a surrogate later in life.
She wanted to be ready for the future, no matter what it might have in store.
Doctors removed her ovaries, uterus, part of her bowel, and abdomen in an effort to combat the cancer.
Through it all, Rowena never faltered. It allowed her to get that much extra time with Phil and Freddie.
A few months after her surgery, the cancer spread to her liver, lungs, and pelvis. There was no more hope of survival, just a question of how long.
Rowena remained unfazed, and started planning for life after her death. She made cards and wrote messages for Freddie that he could open on special occasions.
Freddie would always have a card from his mother on every single birthday.
It was strange for Rowena to write a message for a 21-year-old Freddie when she couldn’t even imagine what he might be like by then.
She wants him to have these cards and messages so he can always feel close to her and know how much she loves him.
She doesn't want Freddie putting her on a pedestal, either. She makes sure to let him know that she isn’t perfect, but that she loves him very much.
Rowena has gone through multiple rounds of chemotherapy and endured several surgeries during her treatment. She goes through all of it with a smile because it gives her extra time with her family.
Before she’s gone, Rowen just wants to spend every possible moment with her family and make sure they know just how much she cherishes them.
Even now, there are times Rowena can’t be with her son, which upsets him. So, Rowena told him that his teddy bear is magical and any time he misses her, he can talk to the teddy bear, and the bear will send his messages to mommy. That way, he can always talk to her, even if she’s in the hospital or after she’s gone.
Life can be so beautiful, and so tragically unfair at the same time. I can’t even imagine the strength it takes for Rowena to deal with her situation so bravely. I think I need a tissue now, this one definitely touched me right in my mother’s heart.
Credit: Daily Mail UK