Lee's story

The importance of family

Lee looks into camera with grandson on his lap, smiling.

Lee counts himself a very lucky man.

He has loving family, a new business and now his health. But it hasn’t always been the case for Lee.

In June 2012, at 51 years of age, Lee underwent various tests as part of a routine six-month check-up.

They revealed blood in the stool and his doctor referred him for a colonoscopy.

“The results came back and it wasn’t good news. I had a cancerous tumour near my rectum and needed radiation and chemotherapy to shrink the tumour,” he said.

“After seven weeks of treatment I was able to have the tumour removed which left me with a temporary colostomy bag, which has since been reversed.”

Lee underwent numerous rounds of chemotherapy treatment at Mater Cancer Care Centre which at times he said was gruelling.

The treatment knocked me around and I had some very low days but it was my family and the wonderful oncology staff at Mater who were positive and helped me get through it all.

Lee, diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012.

“I have had some low days but when I go to Mater for treatment I see other patients who are a lot worse off—some don’t have the treatment options like I do because their cancer is so advanced.

“I can’t speak highly enough of the oncology team at Mater. They care for so many sick patients, often palliative, and they still manage to have a smile on their faces and provide me and my family with much-needed care and support.”

Now, Lee is in remission and is living life with a new found vigour and appreciation of the small things in life.

“I have two beautiful grandchildren who are the light of my life. I struggled to hold down a job when I was sick and recently my wife and I bought our own business and I’m enjoying being my own boss.”

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