Jim Millar was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in 2013. While away on holidays he noticed a lump in his elbow; this would begin his long journey of numerous rounds of chemotherapy and endless tests.
After several months of numerous tests and consultations with several specialists, Jim was eventually diagnosed with a rare form of sarcoma – metastatic rhabdosarcoma, a sarcoma usually only seen in children and young adults. After an operation to remove the cancer, followed by a course of radiation therapy and 18 weeks of chemotherapy at Icon Wesley, Jim was given the all clear and returned to work in January 2014.
Two years later, after a work trip to Perth, his regular scans picked up blood clots in his leg and lungs. Followed shortly by severe back pain ending in the emergency department, Jim’s clots were found to be cancerous, with cancer spreading to his spine. After receiving more chemotherapy and radiation therapy, Jim decided to slow down and semi-retire to Cairns at the end of 2016.
“It’s always hard not knowing whether it was going to return. Then when it does you do think ‘bugger it!’ and ‘ah well, let’s get on with the treatment!’,” Jim said.
Jim continued to work on a casual consultancy basis, however in early 2018 the cancer returned in his arm and had to be surgically removed. Later in 2018 further legions were discovered in Jim’s lung and liver which were treated with yet more chemotherapy, however tests began to see little success in the chemotherapy, only partially slowing down the tumour growth. At that point his Haematologist referred him to the Icon South Brisbane Phase I clinic where he was recruited to an immunotherapy trial. For Jim, being able to have this opportunity has been a blessing.