Nothing remains the same.
Life has been wonderful for me, especially the last 14 years or so spent with Kerrie.
We’ve been blessed with a lifestyle that’s allowed us to see a great chunk of Australia, work when we want, play often and love unconditionally.
We’ve never faced real hardship as our faith and trust in God has led us to expect that our footsteps are directed and even when situations have arisen where we didn’t know what to do, we’ve always been given the answer – seldom early, never late.
We were faced with one of these situations a few months ago not long before Koramba Cotton Farm reopened.
I had a couple of nasty looking skin cancers on my arm and decided to see a doctor. Our doctor took one look and said she couldn’t do anything to them and they would need to be removed by a specialist. This all took 3 minutes so the doctor said, “Well let’s order a blood test while we’re at it”.
Three days later I get a call from the doctor to come and see her as my PSA level was quite high.
Feeling fit and healthy I cockily thought it would be some vitamin deficiency due to past operations as sometimes happens when I get a blood test.
This was not to be. The doctor was concerned that there may be prostate cancer present.
Feeling a bit floored but still cocky, I went to an urologist who examined me an ordered an MRI scan and a biopsy.
The MRI came back with a definite diagnosis of cancer and a possible breach (an area where the cancer may have broken out of the prostate into other parts of the body).
This meant another full body/bone scan to try to confirm if there was indeed a breach.
Thankfully the scan did not confirm a breach but the biopsy result came back with a Gleason score of 9.
The lowest Gleason score of a cancer found on a prostate biopsy is 6. These cancers may be called well-differentiated or low-grade and are likely to be less aggressive – they tend to grow and spread slowly.
Cancers with Gleason scores of 8 to 10 may be called poorly differentiated or high grade. These cancers tend to be aggressive, meaning they are likely to grow and spread more quickly.
So, all this news is happening when we are flat out trying to get the Koramba quarters inhabitable again after 21/2 years closed.
Into the equation is thrown my brother Pete and his cancer diagnoses that unfortunately is incurable.
Making the trip to Moranbah to see Pete left me saddened to see how quickly the cancer had changed him physically and while he remained in relatively good spirits until the end, he succumbed to his illness a couple of weeks after my visit.
As if to accentuate life’s frail thread, a supervisor at Koramba passed away on the farm after a long battle with cancer which had returned after a substantial remission. He’d worked on the farm for 30 years.
So now I’m nearing the end of a 12 week hormone treatment which is designed to reduce testosterone levels which in turn reduces the cancer to a size where radium treatment can be administered more effectively.
The treatment causes female menopausal symptoms like hot flushes and I must say that after repeated bouts of feeling like my body was burning up from the inside out I have a great respect for what Kerrie has been suffering for the past six years.
The hormone treatment is nearing completion so we must say goodbye to Koramba as we move the caravan to Brisbane to undertake the radium treatment which is five days a week for two to three months.
I’m confident in the work being carried out by the doctors on my behalf and I’m looking forward to fulfilling our dream of hitting the road again selling the software at agricultural festivals and country shows around Australia and possibly filling in at Koramba when Fiona needs a break.