This was just the start of many skin cancer excisions to come over the years. Although he was never focused on tanning or sunbaking, Colin had spent his early years working on farms, surfing and sailing in the harsh Australian sun, not realising the impact this could have.
“It was an absolute disaster for my health. By the time I was aware about the dangers of the sun, the damage had already been done. My initials cancers were caused by the reflection of the nose pads on my spectacles which acted like a magnifying glass on my skin. We’ve all gotten much smarter about that sort of thing now and fortunately my children have grown up knowing the importance of slip, slop, slap.”
Two years ago, a lump in front of his right ear sparked a warning that his cancer had become more severe. After further tests and scans, Colin was told a squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) had spread from his forehead to form a tumour and that he would require surgery to remove the cancer and lymph nodes from his ear to Adam’s apple, followed by six weeks of daily radiation therapy treatment at Icon Cancer Centre within the Gold Coast Private Hospital.
“I can’t compliment staff enough from my time at Icon Gold Coast Private. They helped me cope with the treatment, especially in terms of the radiation therapy mask which was very confining. I would give some advice to other patients who struggled with the mask and tell them to think about something else, such as what you would do if you won the lottery or a big yacht race. Taking myself into another mindset really helped.”