20 December 2022

Christmas was Jodi’s favourite time of the year. It was all about family and she loved the idea of everybody coming together to celebrate.

Thirteen years ago, Jodi celebrated what was to be her last Christmas and shared this message with family and friends.

Jodi was so excited about Christmas and the beach house we rented. Jodi ended up passing away in that house a few weeks later.

Please wrap your arms around your family at this time, don’t take anything for granted and cherish life.

Nick Lee OAM
Jodi’s husband and Founder & Chair of Jodi Lee Bowel Cancer Foundation

“Merry Christmas.

The best gift of all around any Christmas tree is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.

Thank you for all your love, support and friendship, Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2010.

Nick, Jodi, Jack and Bella
December 2009.”


Jodi’s Last Christmas message

Dear all,

Now, for all the boring stuff.  An update on my medical treatment.  As you know these tumors are just out of control.  Plus, I seemed to have these complications that delay any further chemo treatment.

After all that surgery on my stomach/bowel they finally decided they could not do much more.  Much better to treat symptoms than try and work out what was going on.  And after months of pain I was finally agreeing with them.

I now see a palliative care doctor and his team, who are incredibly supportive.  I take drugs, drugs and more drugs!  Cant say pain has gone but certainly a lot more manageable.  And my doctor assures me I am still on a low level of drugs and have room to ……take more!!!

One of the lymph nodes was growing which was blocking my kidneys (painful before surgery and for a week or so after – thank you to Jandow for helping me out that week).  So they have put a stent in, which seems so be doing the job.

A couple of weeks ago I got a hernia and probably split stomach muscles – too much surgery and muscles too weak.  Now my stomach is not looking pretty.  Then all of a sudden my stomach just exploded.  I looked 8 months pregnant.  And the pain!  I was quite beside myself I was just about to hop on plane to go to Melbourne on my own for shopping and catching up with girlfriends, meet my husband for some quality time and then go to Sam & Steph’s 40th.

My doctors were either away or not working.  I was trying to work out what the hell was going on with the palliative care nurse and a doctor I had never seen before.  Anyway, against medical advice I went!  I started the week off okay (yes, I managed to shop and buy enough maternity/cute smock looking clothes to be satisified – thank you again to Jandow for all her advice and support during this time in Melbourne).  Then it all started going down hill.  Was too tired and in too much pain to enjoy too much.

When we got home and I finally saw my doctor he diagnosed fluid on the abdomen – ascites.  I went into hospital and had a couple of litres drained.  But, unfortunately still 4-5 months pregnant looking.  And people ask me if I am pregnant!! Ascites is one of those things I may have to live with – it’s just how long I can keep fluid off. Some people have it drained every 2 weeks.

However, it is the pain, that keeps getting me down. The doctor thinks all my organs or maybe just some – liver definitely, are inflamed which is one of the reasons my stomach is so big.  And every time I lie down the pressure is too much, causing me a lot of grief.  I sleep upright a lot.

So that is it for complications, now for chemo treatment.  I was recommenced chemo a few months ago, but unfortunately after 2 weeks it was proving to be unsuccessful. Then we tried another chemo which I had to be compatible with (had to take cell samples from bowel etc) and unfortunately I was not compatible – despite a 65% statistical chance of compatibility – urgh!!!.  I then had a choice to go back on the original chemo which I decided against (and supported by my doctor, as it just wasn’t going to provide me with a better quality of life or increase the time I have left, so why do it?).  I am currently on a form of chemo which does not seem to be effecting me too much.  The hope is that it will stabilise growth rather than reduce it.  Wont know for a little while as to how effective this is.  Fingers crossed.

Oh my, what a tragic story!!

In between all this crap I have had some wonderful times.  Going through all of this makes you appreciate many things you take for granted!  In the last few months I have felt incredibly spoilt.  The support and love I get from my friends and family have been incredible and I treasure everything you all do and say and write.  I would like to ring and write to you all personally to thank you, but time does not allow me to do this. Nick feels the same way!

Last weekend his mates threw a surprise 40th for him.  This was entirely organised by Quentin & Pos, Sam & Andy and Jane and Ferg. Which was a great night and allowed the focus to be on him for a change! Also a big thanks to Margs & Chris for hosting the party! Unilever has also been amazing with their support of Nick & our situation. We can’t thank you enough & words fall so far short of expressing our appreciation.

The kids are really well & very sensitive to my situation. Plenty of massages from Belle & loving from Jack. Jack is off to Saints next year (Grade 3) & Belle is enjoying Walkerville.

I am very excited about Christmas.  I am loving the Christmas shopping, the decorations, the excitement of all the kids.  I  cant wait for school holidays – to spend time with my family and friends.  We have also rented an amazing house at Encounter Bay with a nanny for a few weeks. Bliss!

Lots of love,


P.s. please don’t feel need to respond to my email.  I know you all think of me and I got so many lovely responses to my last email I was overwhelmed & physically unable to respond to them all.