11 Aug 18

By Dominic Byrne

Single Parent Getting After It

It’s been seven days since Lou’s oncologist dropped the mother of all bombs on our lives. Yeah, we’d been living with cancer for over a year. Yeah, Lou had been brutalised with 14 months of barbaric treatment. Yeah, it disrupted our lives as we ran the cancer gauntlet while trying to keep some family structure. But yeah, “we’d be right mate.” We were always going to come out the other end, bruised but better for it, challenged but successful, flogged but winners. Not this time. By any means, don’t count us out, another game starts and we’re preparing for all-out war. But we lost the opening battles and the odds are tipped against us.

So what does the last seven days look like? Well, I hired a lifeguard for the home as I was worried the tears were going to push the water level above the kids wading height. Family, friends, big grown men, rugby players that were on-field enforces, country boys with calloused hands and stoic hearts, all reduced to tears. After three days of essentially mourning, we sprang back into action. Since Tuesday we’ve met with two cancer professors, three oncologists, a naturopath and several doctors. Our calendar is just as populated this coming week.

A massive thank you to those that made calls and opened doors. Peoples prompt response to just make shit happen has been remarkable. Thank you for the love and thank you for the tears, all shed for Lou. Tears of empathy, tears of sorrow, tears of anger, tears of gut-wrenching pain. Thank you for your unwavering support. I echo Lou’s last social post that the love expressed, both physical and virtual, has supported her limp and exhausted body. It’s propping her up so she can stand on her own two feet again.

I’m a fairly private person. My social media posts are nothing but an embellished snapshot of the good times. Motorbikes, skiing, holidays and a plethora of proud parent snaps of the two best kids on earth. The best kids in my biased eyes anyway. Lou has let it all hang out over the past year, it’s motivated me to keep the transparency moving and contribute, especially when she can’t. So I’ve started this blog, I have no idea where it will end up. Perhaps a detailed narrative of the next twelve months, maybe some preserved words for Noah and Evie or some motivation for the next cancer number thrown to the wolves. Maybe just a post or two that becomes nothing but forgotten pages buried deep in Google’s servers.

Apart from my two previous updates about Lou, you won’t find any emotional words from me online. I’ve never displayed affection publicly, it’s been my preference to do this in the comfort of my own home, and perhaps more through actions than words. For those close to me you are well aware I am a man of minimal verbal dialogue. Often zero words in a social arrangement (I don’t apologise). So this public journey will be interesting, therapeutic – hopefully, and maybe even uncomfortable for someone aloof like myself. However, I’ll dabble in taking you for a ride on the cancer rollercoaster. Hopefully, Lou will do most of the posting.

I’ve got a big day today. I’m going to tell my beautiful boy, the most sensitive, emotionally connected five-year-old on the planet, about the current situation that is. I think I might do it at the BMX track.



  1. thank you for sharing it amazingly raw and deep you will influence others by your words and action well done you are a fine example of a human my thoughts are with you xxx

  2. Oh Dom – we love you. This thing called cancer sucks. No parent should have to tell their kid about it. No kid called Noah should have to cope with it. I can’t imagine how much your heart is going to break when his big beautiful eyes fill with tears. My heart breaks for you and with you. Know this, despite having all the sympathy in the world for this suckful situation, we stand on the sidelines ready to help with bench players anytime you need it. Don’t feel like you can’t call in a substitute or two.
    Lou’s battle has been nothing but admirable. Seems like an oxymoron to say her fight against cancer fills people with admiration. How can we admire that? Through guts, tenacity and buckets of bravery we admire her and all those that support her. The truth is many of us would of folded in the first quarter, or limbed off the field. Yet here she is, gathering strength to go on again. Most of us would not have the words to express the ride. The falls, the breaks and the small wins. In those words you gather your army. A leader builds strength through transparency. Lou has given us that and we are here for you all, always. X x

  3. Dom, I don’t really know you, even though we are family, apart from a few meetings over the years, but that being said, I have seen and heard nothing but huge love from you. You are a man that does shit rather than talk about it! The strength you give your family is unyielding and I’m so happy you have each other. I’m far away but have been thinking of you all daily. Sending you strength and love and all things positive!

    • Thank You Colleen, appreciate the message. You must be looking forward to you Aus Xmas. This will come around super quick the way the year is dissolving… xx

  4. Such beautiful and raw emotion, I have already told Louise that she is my hero, she teaches me to never give up. Dom, you have also become my hero, you sit quietly in the background , not showing how scared you are, encouraging Louise to fight hard and then fight harder. With Leslie, Lynda, Elysia, Noah ,Evie and a huge army of people who love Louise, behind her , ,giving her the strength to fight with all she has, how can she lose. Everyday I send love, prayers and well wishes , Louise, you got this

    • yes, we have an amazing team, we are very fortunate to have such a tight family unit to stand up to this battle, together. Hope you are well Karen. xx

  5. Dom,
    We have not met yet.
    Louise and I went to school together so we have known each other a long time. She use to give me her chocolate donuts at lunch all the time, and now I have a daughter who is part donut as that’s all I ate pregnant haha.
    We reconnected when you guys brought Benson home. I have a bulldog as well.
    I live in LA so Louise and I chat on Facebook messenger most of the time. I love our chats.
    I have been heartbroken over this news especially last week as I know everyone has been.
    The one thing I know is that she knows she has a quarterback, the MVP, the captain of captains by her side. You’re an inspiration to us all just like she is. Your words were so lovely and so raw. What a guy you are to be so open.
    My thoughts are with you all every single day and will continue to be. I will do everything I can to help however I can.
    I hope that you guys can come over this way next year so I can show you all the very best time and meet the man i have heard so many wonderful things about as well as your beautiful kids.
    Lots of love to you all.
    Georgie Xx

    • Georgie, such a beautiful message. Thank you. We still plan to be in Canada for Christmas with a few days in Hawaii and hopefully a couple in LA. Lou will keep you posted I am sure. I love California and the west coast. Be great to catch up. Dom x

  6. Inspirational and beautifully written. The strength to write this and generosity to share this most private and painful of battles is appreciated more than you know. I am so impressed and realise that you guys am going to give it your all……..and know that many many more people care and will be following.


    • Thanks Pat, cheers mate. We’ll give this fight a good nudge. I hope you are well. Thank you for the message, it means a lot. Dom

  7. Beautiful words Dom.
    You always shine extra bright when it matters and when you are needed most. Always dependable, always there.
    Love for you Lou. May we be your strength when you need it. My heart is burning for the promise we need.

  8. Thanks Dom for sharing. Louise is such a beautiful person and shes been a fighter. Still keeping the faith and hoping for a good turn around. Beautiful family beautiful children surround you and a lots of great friends. Lets just hope for that miracle phonecall with the miracle cure thats all we need just one little miracle to turn this around. Sending lots of spiritual healing and lots of hugs to all of you. ❤❤❤❤❤

    • Thank you, Pauline. Lou as mentioned a few times she always gets nice messages from you. Thank you!! x

  9. Dom, amazing words. Hard to write a worthy reply. What a family unit, so tight and ready to smash this amazingly huge hill you guys have to climb….thoughts are with Lou and all of you. Good luck with Noah, dont wish that job on anyone. Hugs and love, Bastic.

    • Thanks Dr Bastic. Yeah, we’ll give this a good nudge and beat the odds. Chat with Noah went well. I’ll try and make time to blog about it.

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