Hi faithful followers of Karen's finding humour in my tumour blog. For those who don't know - Karen lost her battle with her tumour on Easter Monday night April 9th, 2012
She had been in hospitalised a week after her last post as the cancer was aggrivating her central nervous system and she could not longer walk and had minimal strength in both her upper and lower body.
Karen's condition worsened slowly over the last few weeks and throughout her treatment she and we her family were ever hopeful. They changed her treatment plan midway as they feared the original one was not working. Her stay in hospital was filled with visitors, watching MKR, using her phone to keep in touch with as many people as possible until she could not longer text.
She was brave and strong and I don't believe she was scared. It was Good Friday when it was obvious to us her last chance treatment was not working and by Sunday morning she was sleeping without waking up.
Her last night was Monday night and all her family and dearest friends were around her. We had dinner, some wine and sat around her chatting about her and remembering the better times. It felt like the last group of "stayers" after a great party all sitting around the table. I didn't think she would go with a party going on around her. We had to leave the room for the nurses to tend to her and when we got back she had turned her final corner and with us all there around her she passed away peacefully after only a few minutes.
Her funeral was on the Friday 13th April and was a great celebration of her life. She had lived 2 lives in her 37 years and had had a great time. I don't feel she would have had many regrets.
Over 500 people came to say goodbye. Greg Holmes walked her down the aisle as a pall bearer for her. Expresso Martinis were served at her wake. I helped my brother Shaun organise the funeral and wake and know she would have been happy!
I am Lisa, her sister and have been overwhelmed by how she touched so many people throughout her life - through her day to day interactions, inspiration and this blog.
Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive and kind to us over these last few weeks - they have been hard and the hard times are not over.
I am running in the Mother's Day Classic in her honour this year and from next year I will organise a team to walk for the Mother's Day Classic - with our Mother and her army of friends. I will keep her facebook account alive to communicate with her army.
If you would like to donate to Chicks in Pink to help support breast cancer sufferers like Karen please go to
I have posted her eulogy written by our older brother, Shaun and then by Sam Miller - her friend who represents her Army of friends.
If anyone needs to contact her family - please contact me Lisa Lum, on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eulogy - by Sam Miller
In my mind, being Karen Pandy’s friend is a special privilege that we all enjoyed. Which brings me to the second part of my speech today, what it meant to have Karen as a friend.
The wonderful Ann-Maree, summed it up beautifully, she is the benchmark of a Best friend. You often hear people talking about having a good friend and what they have done that makes them special, then someone might trump them with another friends good deeds but as Ann-Maree pointed out, no one can trump Karen as a friend – she was the benchmark friend, the friend of the highest standard. There are so many stories of Karen being there for people in times of need that it would take me 2 hours to get through!
This benchmark of friendship became the norm for my family. As you all know Karen was an awesome chef, she had that acute ability to taste and smell everything item that was in a dish. She shared this love of food with my husband who is also a chef. One day Karen received the emergency call from Steve, in Steve’s true Gordan Ramsay style he yelled down the phone “ Pandy get here now I’ve burnt the cake” Karen raced down to our house, she entered the kitchen and with a sigh of relief my mother in law said to everyone, “the bridesmaid to the rescue” And Karen replied, “ I didn’t know it was a job for life!”
But that’s what Karen did.
Her charm and vivaciousness was one of the best things, I loved about Karen.
To Craig, Shaun and Lisa, she absolutely loved having you three as her siblings.
She had a special bond and love for each of you.
Craig, she idolized you, were always the big brother.
Shaun or Shaz bootie she had a special connection with you on so many levels, you were the voice of reason.
Lisa she adored you, she would have been so proud of you over the past month, I remembered she used the words “remarkable” to describe your love and support.
And finally to Helene and Geoff, your relationship with Karen is best summed up with her extended time living at home.
I would often ask, “don’t you want to move out”
She loved and admired their marriage, she would say after 40 years my parents still go on date nights. She said that her parent’s relationship with each other was what she felt love should be and she would never settle for anything less. As Karen became more ill she said that the best thing in the world is a hug from your mum or dad.
She was a great mate with Geoff, she was his protector, although not a fan of his jokes! Helene she loved your outlook on life, she loved your food, she loved your laughter, she loved your kindness, she was fully aware of your loss earlier in your life and how you nourished and loved your children. Over the past few months, Karen would often mention how awesome, amazing and brilliant you were during this time that she loved you and Geoff so much.
And finally I would like to finish with one of Karen’s wishes for today. Many years ago, prior to Karen having breast cancer, Ann-Maree and Karen had a random conversation and it went like this:
Karen asked, “ Ann-Maree what would say at my funeral?”
Then Ann-Maree paused and thought for a minute, and then asked,” Well, what would you say at my funeral?”
10 minutes passed and out of the blue, in the middle of a different topic, Karen said ”But if you had to be at my funeral, make sure you remind everybody how long and thin my legs were.”
My friend Karen, with the long thin legs, you will be missed.