Do you have any history of bowel
cancer in your family?
Yes, I have
an extensive family history although I did not know at the time it was all
bowel cancer. My dad died at the age of 47 and my brother died from bowel
cancer at the age of 29. I knew it was a genetic risk but I didn’t understand
about Lynch Syndrome and the cancer risk.
How did having a bowel cancer
diagnosis affect you and your family?
It was a big
shock. The kids were little so we made a decision not to tell them everything. My wife
didn’t really change, just kept doing all the things she usually did. I had many
complications with my surgery and it turned into a 2 year ordeal. The temporary
colostomy was confronting and a challenge but I found support from the ostomy
suppliers. I had never heard of a colostomy before then.
How did you get involved with Cancer
Connect and why?
I received a
letter in the mail from Cancer Council Victoria informing me of a Lynch
Syndrome information day and decided to go along. At the meeting I saw a Cancer Connect brochure and decided to
apply. I felt like I wanted an opportunity to pay it forward and I thought “I
can do that”.
What do you enjoy about being a Cancer
If I can be an inspiration to someone,
then I’m happy. One guy said “Wow I want to be like you”. The topics I
usually cover when talking to people range from coping with chemo, colostomy
management and Lynch Syndrome.
What would you say to people who get
the bowel screening kit?
is a lot more common than you think. It’s really a huge risk if you do not take
the test. It’s a small price to pay and it is far easier than having a
colonoscopy or bowel surgery.
To find out
more about Cancer Connect, or Gene Connect
- a peer support program available for people with an identified cancer
risk gene - call us on: 13 11 20 or email: Cancer.Connect@cancervic.org.au
Cancer Council Victoria’s support
programs for people with bowel cancer
Council Victoria offers different programs for people depending on whether they
are currently receiving treatment, or have moved to the recovery phase. Our
Cancer Support Groups provide an opportunity for people affected by cancer to
meet for discussions in an emotionally supportive environment. To find out more
about our Cancer Support Groups, visit our website or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Victoria also offers tumour specific Living with Cancer Education Programs. These free programs are held locally at health
services across Victoria and provide
useful skills and helpful information, empowering those affected by cancer. To
find out more, visit the webpage, or to view a list of
scheduled programs, visit our events calendar.