A cancer diagnosis is often described as a rollercoaster of emotions, so having people look out for you can make all the difference. For Mackay residents, Allan Paranthoiene and Paul Doolan, finding friendship during their prostate cancer treatment was a blessing.
Allan and Paul were perfect strangers, both diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017. Paul was diagnosed in June 2017 just one day after he and his wife sold their local business. Allan is a retired floor tiler who was enjoying the caravan retired lifestyle with his wife when he received the news he had cancer. For both Allan and Paul, the diagnosis came as a shock, both showing little to no symptoms. After their respective surgeries, they were recommended radiation therapy treatment.
The pair become the first few patients to receive radiation therapy at Icon Cancer Centre, the first centre to offer radiation therapy treatment in Mackay. On their first day of treatment their appointments were back to back, and a few greetings later a long-term friendship began.
“On my first day at the centre I said hi to him in the waiting room and we got chatting. We found out we had a few things in common, we both liked football, and obviously, we were both going through cancer,” said Allan.
“We had similar interest, so we’d talk about the footy a lot and we were also able to compare what we were going through. It wasn’t always about the cancer, it was just nice being able to talk to someone about all sorts of things,” said Paul.
For Paul, the new Icon centre felt familiar as his wife was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2016 and received treatment at the Icon centre in Townsville and was grateful to be able to continue her treatment locally in Mackay.
“Walking into the centre, I knew the service would be the same as what we had experienced in Townsville. It was so nice to see familiar faces, in a way it feels like home. Being told that I would be able to receive treatment In Mackay was such a relief. The expense and sheer factor of having to leave your home is something you would rather not worry about,” said Paul.