I’ve always drawn solace from my late mother’s frequent reminder that “we are on this earth for such a short time on our way to eternal life”. However, when this earthly ‘short time’ strikes me or you or those near to us, I pause. And pray.
Today, my eldest brother, Tony, has advanced hormone-refractory prostate cancer that has invaded surrounding structures. Radical prostatectomy and radiotherapy failed to clear it all. “Hormone” treatment has kept the regrowth of his cancer at bay. Now, tests show regrowth.
Like others, Tony now awaits signs of spread to his bones. He is campaigning for men he feels are unfairly excluded from receiving the new drug Abiraterone on the PBS (private scripts cost $3,300 per month). I join him in this plea to the Federal Minister for Health.
Tony has prepared a letter petitioning the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for Health to include the life-extending drug, Abiraterone, on the PBS. I ask my friends to sign this online petition, not only for my brother but also for so many people suffering in a similar manner.
Other members of our family have not been spared from the Cancer Curse!
I lost my youngest sister, Cathie, to leukaemia ten years ago.
In 1995, my sister Anne suffered with Chondrosarcoma, a malignant tumour of the bone. Thank God, the cancer was arrested by replacement of half her femur and knee with titanium prothesis.
One of these days, I may also need PBS assistance.
Three years ago, I learned that I have dysplasia that could lead to anal cancer. Each twelve months I go for microscopic examination so that any cancerous changes can be detected at a very early stage, and treated.
Now, my potentially threatening situation serves to focus my mind even more on the availability of the best possible drug treatments for extending life to be included under the PBS. Please click on the link and sign the Petition above for my brother.