Statistics Vs People with names, Elvis and Bushfires

That would be the analogy I’d use to describe how cancer hits one person and misses the next. How cancer can spread in your body like burning embers floating on the wind and touching lightly down to start yet another fire burning. Your body’s volunteer fire fighters bravely fighting against all odds, the whim of a wind change, the promise of rain, armed with a backpack full of water against the tide of fire. Where is Elvis!


  • 1 in 2 Australians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.
  • An estimated 121,500 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Australia this year.

I just grabbed these two from the info page @ Ride to Conquer Cancer website. They don’t quote a source (I hate that). So let’s see how it pans out in my circle of friends.

  1. My Toni has it.
  2. My mate Rob had it.
  3. Robs wife Wendy is fighting it.
  4. The drummer from Reify is fighting it (I worked with the band for a number of years).
  5. The Guy who builds my wheels had it.

I really don’t like where this is going at all. Even randoms I have met while having my thumb repaired and was nowhere near the cancer ward had it and confided in a stranger, not so much for sympathy, just another human to listen to their story and give them an outlet for all the thoughts that burden them. I think people do that because the telling makes them feel better, and telling a stranger avoids making the ones close to them sad and worry. I’ve also found a lot just, well, don’t tell anyone. Or they wait till it gets to the point that they have too. It’s complicated.

People with names changed because you do that. The following is a collage of experiences from several people I know.

I didn’t understand the psychological effect cancer has on the person till I spoke with friends going through it and then it came to my house. The first thing you realise is you really know very little about it. Generally you find out through a GP and have to wait then to see a specialist to get answers. At this point you have a little general info and start to figure it’s serious, so you do what anyone else would do, you Google it! After reading several paragraphs from various sites and flicking through a couple of forums your mind starts ticking away, the information is coming thick and fast, you’re looking up so many words you’ve never seen before, and will never be able to pronounce without a speech therapist, reach for another glass of wine and decide your done for. Of course you haven’t seen the specialist yet……… and when you do you’ll get some cool facts and some advice from, well, a specialist! There are a few things you get told by the specialist that apply to everyone that you should know as soon as possible, and your GP should have told you but most likely didn’t.

  1. Don’t Google it! If you must Google it, go to the Peter Mac website and check out the info there, it’s informative and a trusted source without being alarmist.
  2. While cases have similarities, each individual is different and your case will not be just like someone else’s, your options will be unique to you and your specialist team are best to advise you.
  3. Yep a team. At Peter Mac where Toni goes a team of specialists oversee and advise on your options, not just one person. You also get a lot of support options too.
  4. Only a small percentage of cancer patients lose their hair, besides there are a lot of other side effects to choose from, me the hair one is a good option if you have the choice, trust me.

So if you take anything away from this little piece I hope it’s, don’t bury yourself before your dead and find that person to confide in, nice if it’s close to home, but at a pinch a nice stranger in a coffee shop will do the trick!

Cancer sucks.



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