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Imagine how your whole life would change if you heard the words “You have bowel cancer”. For Elise, hearing these words ignited her will to fight.
“At first, I was teary and upset. But then I thought, ‘Why should I be? I’m in good hands at Mater.’ I’ve been through a lot, and am still here.”
Elise had no symptoms of bowel cancer, so the diagnosis came as a shock. Only after experiencing a sudden heart attack that landed Elise in emergency and required a triple-bypass—did anything happen. A short while after her operation, Elise felt something burst in her stomach.
Elise was rushed to Mater Emergency and was kept in observation for three days. Results were non-conclusive, so Elise was released, only to come back for an endoscopy and a colonoscopy. This time, the results were clear—Elise had bowel cancer.
“In my case, operating was not possible. Normally, surgeons aim to remove as much of the cancer as they can. My cancer hid behind my intestines making surgery impossible. Chemotherapy is my only hope.”
Chemotherapy is a time-consuming treatment. For Elise, her treatments vary from two hours to six hours.
“I’m happy at Mater—I feel at home. It’s welcoming.”
For almost one and a half years, Elise has been a patient at the Mater Cancer Care Centre (MCCC). This is an incredibly long time for a bowel cancer patient to receive treatment and it’s thanks to people like you whose donations make Elise’s continued chemotherapy treatment possible.
Despite being a challenging time, Elise’s cancer diagnosis has had a profoundly positive effect on her family. “It has brought us all closer. On their days off, my family members were taking me to the MCCC for my treatments. But every week is a big ask, so I am grateful to Mater for arranging and providing transport to get me here on time. I can now come in by myself. This gives my family some freedom.”
Elise is extremely grateful for the additional services that Mater offers, thanks to your generous support. Mater at Home assists Elise to split her weekly cancer treatments between visits to Mater and receiving them at home. “This service means Mater nurses can come to my house and disconnect my pump. This makes my life so much easier, as I don’t have to come in every week.”
I don’t have to worry about my cancer. I tell my doctor, ‘No! I’m going to beat it, with your help’.
Elise’s ongoing treatment is proving positive, and her goal of beating cancer looks promising. Recent scans showed that her cancer is in a state of stasis. Her treatments continue to ensure that the cancer will not grow again.
To anyone who knows a friend or family member with cancer, Elise has a message.
“Treat us as we are. Don’t stay away. Come together in support of one another. Don’t feel sorry.”
Elise is not new to Mater as in 1977 and 1983 she gave birth to her two sons here at Mater Mothers’ Hospital.
And her takeaway message through it all?
“I always say: be happy, believe in yourself and enjoy every day of your life.”
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