It took almost 4 years and 5 ENT specialists before my diagnosis of stage 4 throat cancer while holidaying from Cairns in Tasmania. I subsequently underwent a total laryngectomy at Royal Hobart Hospital in August 2019.
I was discharged after 2 weeks then after a few days break commenced 7 weeks of radiation therapy. I had the best support from my partner Kim throughout my illness and we did the daily 5 km return walk to the hospital for my treatment regardless of the weather. We kept up the daily walk routine and before long we were doing longer more strenuous hikes.
I flew to Cairns in November 2019 to drive back to Tasmania where I needed to be for ongoing medical checks. I used the road trip to call in to see my sons in the GoldCoast and Melbourne also other close mates along the way, of course I needed the car for our walking journeys.
Six months after my operation I had the all-clear from cancer so celebrated climbing Mount Amos with spectacular views of Wine Glass Bay.
Now because of Covid 19 Kim and I were basically stranded in Tasmania so have now added many long hikes and mountain climbs to our conquests. Thankfully Kim is now employed at Tasmania Health on the Covid Response Team.
Before my operation, I was a keen sailor and diver both in the tropical waters of the Barrier Reef and the cooler waters of southern Tasmania where rock lobster and abalone were often on the menu. I now have designed a snorkel to connect to a base plate to enable me to at least go swimming. It’s still at the development stage, hopefully I’ll be testing come Christmas 2021.
My whole life I’ve taken risks, not to escape life but to prevent life from escaping.
And I’m still enjoying every day…