My surgeon recommended a six week course of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. I wasn’t scared – my motto in life is there is nothing you can’t do. But I did have a logistical problem, living in Bega on the south coast of New South Wales where there is no local radiation oncology service. Icon Canberra was recommended, which was some 230 kms from my home.
My partner Johanna and I stayed positive and with the help of the team at Icon Canberra, we worked out a solution. Every Monday we would make the three hour drive to Canberra and return on Friday so I could spend the weekend back at home. Icon organised my motel accommodation and booked my appointments so that I could have a late appointment on Monday and an early one on Friday. All the staff were so caring, considerate and kind. It was beyond my expectations!
My tumour shrunk from a stage III to a stage I rectal cancer, so on 20 July 2021 I underwent a ten hour operation at Bega Hospital to have it removed and have a permanent stoma and bag put in. I was 74 years old when I went in for my operation and I came out on the day of my 75th birthday. My most difficult time was five days after the operation when I developed colitis, which I’d never had before and I have to tell you – it was bloody painful!