Top notch care well worth the travel for Vicki

Icon Writer / 12 Sep, 2023

When Vicki was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer in October 2022, she knew she had a challenging time ahead.

Little did she know, the biggest struggle would be accessing treatment.

Vicki and her husband Garry live in Portland, a 40-minute drive to the nearest cancer treatment services in Bathurst.

Following Vicki’s diagnosis, she underwent a lumpectomy in November last year and had 18 lymph nodes removed, with 10 deemed cancerous.

Advised by her medical team to undergo chemotherapy, followed by a course of radiation therapy, the couple were told Vicki could not have her cancer treatments in Bathurst because she lives within the Nepean catchment.

Because of her location, Vicki was advised to go to Penrith for treatment – a two-hour drive from the couple’s home.

Garry called Icon Cancer Centre Wahroonga and booked an appointment.

“It was close to Christmas, so I didn’t think we’d get an appointment,” says Garry.

The couple met with Prof Boyages on 22 December and he was able to help them organise a medical oncologist to oversee the chemotherapy Vicki needed.

Vicki started three months of chemotherapy on 29 December at the Sydney Adventist Hospital.

In July this year, she started 16 sessions of radiation therapy at Icon Cancer Centre Wahroonga under the care of Prof Boyages.

“We had a rough start to Vicki’s treatment journey but by the time she’d finished, we’d had a great experience at Icon,” says Garry.

“We couldn’t have asked for more from the Icon team. Everyone was brilliant.

“I honestly don’t know what we would’ve done if we hadn’t come across Prof Boyages. He has been wonderful to us.”

On Vicki’s second day of radiation therapy, she marked her 70th birthday.

“Prof Boyages booked a table at a lovely restaurant for Vicki and I to celebrate her birthday,” says Garry.

“And because we don’t really know our way around Sydney, he was very helpful with ideas on where to go and what to see, so I could take Vicki’s mind off her treatment.”

During Vicki’s three weeks of radiation therapy, the couple stayed at Jacaranda Lodge, on-site accommodation at Sydney Adventist Hospital.

The Icon team were able to provide Vicki with a late appointment each Monday and an early appointment on Fridays so the couple could return home on weekends.

“I got to ring the bell on my final treatment, which was a wonderful feeling,” says Vicki.

“We just can’t thank the team at Icon Wahroonga enough,” adds Garry.

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