Located on-site at Chermside Medical Complex, the centre is led by a team of cancer specialists who provide medical oncology services and treatment for blood disorders. The centre delivered close to 7000 treatments each year.
Celebrating 15 years of Icon Chermside
Icon Cancer Centre Chermside is celebrating 15 years of providing world-class cancer care to local patients.
Icon Cancer Centre Chermside Site Manager, Katrina Sankey the site has always had a personalised feel for patients and staff alike.
“I love that the patients know who I am and when I am out in the clinic, they never miss an opportunity to side with the nursing staff to have a laugh either with me or at me,” laughs Katrina.
Marlene is one of the first patients to be treated at Icon Chermside in 2008.
The 80-year-old was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in November 1999. She underwent a stem cell transplant in June 2008 before being transferred to the care of clinical haematologist and medical oncologist, A/Prof Simon Durrant at Icon Chermside.
“I started having (blood) infusions at Icon in 2008 and I’ve had treatment there ever since,” says Marlene.
“I call it my jungle juice. It keeps me going.
“Simon has been with me the whole time. He’s very understanding, he listens when I have questions and he always answers them.
“Simon called me to pass on his condolences when my husband, Francis passed away two years ago, which was very thoughtful of him.
“I often have a laugh with the girls at reception. I’ve made some good friends along the way.
“I wouldn’t be alive today if it wasn’t for the care I receive at Icon.
“I’ve always said, I won’t let the (Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma) get me. I’ll die of old age.”
Like Marlene, Peter has been having treatment at Icon Chermside for many years. Peter, now 65, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in December 2004. He underwent a stem cell transplant and went into remission before he was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2010. Peter now has treatment every two months under the care of clinical haematologist, Dr Robert Hensen.
“I’ve got to know the nurses and doctors here, which you don’t always get to do in a bigger centre,” says Peter.
“I was travelling to the Mater for treatment (before Icon Chermside opened), so I was having to drive across town. When Chermside opened, I could walk here.
“When I was having treatment (at Mater), my wife was picking up the children from school and then picking me up from treatment. It was a lot of stress on her.
“She was in a car accident coming to pick me up from treatment one day. She was fine but it added to the unpleasantness.
“It’s lovely not having to travel far for treatment now. It’s taken a lot of stress out of the process.”
“I have next to no immune system, so the regular treatments are vital for me,” says Judith.
“I rely on people donating. If people don’t give plasma, I wouldn’t stay well and live the life I do, so I am very grateful to people who donate plasma.
“The team at Icon in Chermside are terrific. They make me feel comfortable and safe.
“Chermside is only 10 minutes from home, which makes it easier going to and from treatment each month.”
Judith says although it can be rough undergoing regular treatment, she has some fond memories of her time at Icon Chermside.
“The staff are, and always have been, warm and welcoming,” says Judith.
“There was a time when my younger sister would come with me to my treatment and we would play cards and get a bit boisterous. People used to come over and ask if they could join in.”
The mother-of-two and grandmother-of-four says she is grateful for the care she has received at Icon so she can watch her family grow.
“I live for my family, so I’m glad I’m still here to watch them grow up,” says Judith.
“I’ve always tried to be an optimistic person. I always say: “I’m still standing,” and that’s the main thing.
“I want to die with this disease, not from it.”
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