Cancer survivor enjoys life again

Cancer survivor enjoys life again

Leukaemia patient and breast cancer survivor Patricia Cain. Photograph - Aaron Van Rongen.

At 74 years of age Patricia Cain admits she has a greater spring in her step after a phone call from her doctor flipped her whole life upside down.

When Ms Cain picked up her bags and locked the front door of her Manjimup home to drive to Perth to dog sit for a friend last year she never thought that would be the last time she would leave her beloved country town.

Feeling lethargic, she took herself to the doctors in Perth and just an hour and a half later on the way back to her Manjimup home she received a call that would change her life.

“The doctor phoned and said I had to get myself into Fiona Stanley Hospital immediately and that they would have a bed made up for me ready to go,” she said.

“I was staying at a friend’s place in Perth at the time so I grabbed a bag and I was in there for roughly the next six to seven weeks.”

Diagnosed with a form of leukaemia, Ms Cain soon progressed to the daily therapy unit, which allowed her to go to and from her new home in Armadale with the help of the Leukaemia Foundation’s transport service.

“I was told by the medical staff that the leukaemia I had was curable so that was a positive but they would treat it with a new sort of treatment which included arsenic and vitamin A,” she said.

“When you first hear the news your whole life gets turned upside down.

“Every day when you are on the treatment your whole day is taken up and when you get home there isn’t much you want to do.”

Now in the consolidation period Ms Cain said she feels vastly different to how she was six months ago and only needs to head back to the hospital every two to three months for a check-up.

“I have my energy back, I am interested in putting make-up on, I enjoy going out and walking the dog,” she said.

“I am enjoying life immensely now.”

Ms Cain hopes to take part in this year’s Leukaemia Foundation’s Light the Night event which brings together the blood cancer community, including those living with blood cancer, their families, friends, carers and medical professionals.

The event will be held tomorrow night at Elizabeth Quay.