On the day of my cancer diagnosis I remember sitting in the waiting room, it was cold. When the doctor called me in I don’t know why, but I started getting a bad feeling and nausea. I just wanted to leave.
When my doctor told me I had prostate cancer I felt in that instant like a line was drawn. My old self was on the other side and I was now looking forward into oblivion. After speaking to the doctor I almost collapsed and I was shaking. I was only 34 years old.
It was a year before my diagnosis that I started to experience the symptoms of my cancer including frequent urination and back pain. I had a few different tests and was seeing a physio for my back pain, but nothing was working. After a year my physio wrote a letter to my doctor to have my prostate checked; he saved my life. Prostate cancer is extremely rare in men my age – so I don’t think anyone was really expecting it. After my diagnosis things moved very quickly. After the necessary scans and tests and I was booked in for surgery; a radical prostatectomy.
I was lucky to have the support of the Cancer Council during my treatment. I contacted the Cancer Council early and they did a nationwide search for someone my age going through a similar experience. The two men they put me in contact with really helped me. I know how important support is during this time; before, during and after.
I am now going to university and studying psychology whilst I am on the road to recovery. Because of my cancer experience I feel I have a lot that I can add back, as treatment is one thing but mental health care is another. I am hoping by studying psychology I can eventually help people going through similar situations as I went through.
I have also experienced the other side of cancer. Throughout my life I had been very close to my Aunty who was also affected by cancer – she had melanoma. The day after my surgery I received bad news that my Auntie’s surgery was not successful. Soon after, she was admitted to a hospice, the very same building where I had my surgery. Sadly, within weeks she passed away. My Aunty was like a mum to me. That’s why this Daffodil Day I’m dedicating my daffodil to my Aunty.