Mount Gambier born brick layer and stone mason, Paul Lewis is no stranger to hospital visits and weekly appointments. Diagnosed with multiple myeloma and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) in 2014, Paul has become accustomed to a new weekly routine and is living as normal a life as he can.
After being diagnosed with multiple myeloma and MDS, Paul received nine months of chemotherapy, followed by a final scan that found his bone marrow was no longer producing blood. In order to maintain healthy levels of blood, Paul requires weekly blood transfusions at the Icon Cancer Centre in Adelaide. This means he will often need to visit the centre twice a week, with one appointment for dressings and regular blood tests, and the other for a two or four hour blood transfusion. For the past five years Paul has become somewhat part of the furniture at Icon.
“Of course you aren’t happy about something like this but you have to get on with life and live,” Paul said.
“The weekly blood transfusions have just become part of my routine. I’ve been going there for five years now and I’ve got to know the team and they me. They like to tell you about their trips and how they are going, I get to see familiar faces every week and still lead a fairly normal life.”
Alongside getting to know the staff and welcoming changes at the Icon centre each year, Paul and his wife, Maureen have also been able to get to know fellow patients.
“One fellow comes in every week and we get along well with him and his wife. When you are there, you have something in common with everyone else. It’s easy to make conversation and it’s nice to know you aren’t alone.”