Phil Russell's appeal

Friday 12 October, 2012


I'd been travelling up and down to Sydney, doing the landscaping, leaving at five o'clock in the morning and getting home at five in the afternoon.

I was looking after my 18-month-old daughter, and she woke up during the midday sleep. I picked her up and actually fell down to the ground.

The doctor led me in to a small room. My wife was in there crying and said, 'You've got a tumour.'

Telling the kids was left with Sarah. Dad's in the hospital. He's got cancer and the doctors are going to do all that they can.

It was pretty daunting.

I recall coming back up from Sydney and I was with my father in law. I just said, 'I'm not going to see the kids.' And um, he just said, 'We take it one day at a time.'

The operation took ten hours. The surgeon and my oncologist have been happy with the initial and only operation, so...

When I came out of the operation I had speech problems, which I still suffer from but it's improved a hell of a lot.

And I get frustrated with my eight-year-old daughter. If she's playing up and I say, 'Stella, you do not do that!' and then I just haven't got the back-up information, and it just slowly comes. And she just looks at me and goes, 'And?'

It's a hell of a journey. But it's got to be taken as one day at a time. I've had nine months. I'm fit and healthy. I can drive. I run on the beach.

And I hope to be around for... a long, long time.

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