Specialising in the human experience of Living with prostate cancer – warts and all

Greg’s Greatest Journey – 26 June 2008

with 4 comments

It’s not about me
It’s all about we …

You might think there is nothing to be happy about in learning that you have a terminal illness. Well, I have learned there are plenty of pluses.

I am grateful for the way this cancer snuk up on me (wow, that’s a bit Ocka). I have not been physically or mentally destroyed up front like I see with so many other diseases.

At one end of the spectrum one could take a stroke to be paralysed and not able to communicate … and could live on for years in a vacuum. At the other end of the range, one could be run over by a truck and not have had the chance to say goodbye.

I have been given the opportunity, both physically and mentally, to prepare for the inevitable. I have been given the time to deal with my wife, my family and my friends. Importantly, I have been given the will to review my life and record my thoughts. What you read here is what I consider suitable for public consumption. But there is much more than that. I have been recording those very personal and intimate moments for the family that we all have and that has been such a comfort to both me and them.

The finality of it all has naturally brought my wife and I a lot closer together. Our claim to be soul mates has been reinforced in our ability to openly discuss how we have both grown and learned more about life through our fourteen years of marriage.

I am satisfied, through this review, that I have done it well.

One of the obvious disadvantages of living in a remote area is the lack of basic infrastructure … no shops – limited health services – no public transport, etc.

Well, I’m here to tell you that the Australian public health system is completely up to the task of an old dude like me on his final journey.

Whilst we only have a locum doctor visit once a week and a community health centre operating on a part time basis, I have not gone without. In fact, I have had services offered that I did not suspect even existed.

Whilst private health insurance ensured I got the best specialist treatment at The Mercy Private Hospital without damaging the bank balance at all, since returning home I have been given the Age Pension and Pauline has been given Carers Payment and we are now dependent upon ‘the system’ to meet our needs.

The PBS is outstanding. It has met all medication expenses to date including the hormone implant that has a list price of $1105 … at a cost of $5 per prescription. I read of American citizens flying to Mexico to buy cheap medicines because they cannot afford them in America.

Northeast Health Wangaratta Palliative Care have come on board to help me. They visit regularly and seek to meet my physical needs such as modifications to the home to assist my movement, psychological/spiritual needs such as meeting my request to talk with a theologian.

I also have access to their pain management physician to help me find the most comfortable way home. They have also offered a social worker to help source supplementary funding for the necessities of life should I need it. Topping that out, they have organised a District Nurse to visit each week just to keep an eye on how Pauline and I are traveling.

And when I get to the final illness, they assure me they can provide all the structural and medical needs to allow me stay here until I die.

That is one hell of a medical support team and all paid for by you, the taxpayer. Thanks for your contribution. 🙂 I hope it is reassuring to know that it will be there when you need it too.

I also must recognise the support and feedback of my “Blogging Buddies” – most of whom I have not yet met – who have been following my adventure.

This post is to let you know that I appreciate the help of everyone involved.


Written by Greg Naylor

26 June 2008 at 10:46 am

4 Responses

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  1. G’day, Ocka, err, Buddie, err, Greg!

    Great to hear of your continuing positive outlook and I also sincerely hope that your attitude is helping others out there.

    Oh, and keep enjoying that little patch of paradise out there too.

    Sincere regards, JR


    26 June 2008 at 3:09 pm

  2. Good stuff Greg. And I’m glad to hear the health system is working for you. We have the best country in the world – that is for sure.

    Btw, sorry about Collingwood!


    26 June 2008 at 5:47 pm

  3. Hey Ray, there’s still a long way to go for the pies. If they make the finals, I might put the hard word on the good folk at Palliative Care to see if they can get me a ticket. I could tell them I need the therapy 😕

    Greg Naylor

    26 June 2008 at 10:39 pm

  4. I’m sure the right approach to Eddie would get you a ticket too Greg. Yes, there’s still a long way to go (to see who plays Geelong in the GF – unfortunately).


    27 June 2008 at 12:22 am

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