Nobody wants to hear a doctor say you have cancer, no matter how big or small. I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in September 2008 just 4 months after getting married. A big shock for my wife and I, the beautiful Lorraine. We knew we had a long road ahead of us so everything was put on hold, including starting a family. I had a lot of chemo and Radiotherapy, a big operation in 2009, removal of a large part of my bowel and had to have a colostomy bag for a year. After a year it was time to reverse this but I was left with chronic pain 24/7.
I met a nurse in the Mater Private. She told me about ARC so Lorraine and I dropped in and were made feel very welcome. When we left Lorraine asked me if I’ll go back but I said no I didn’t feel it was for me, how wrong I was! I didn’t want to see anyone and therefore spent a lot of time at home, Lorraine gave up work for two years and became my full time carer.
5 years rolled by, I’m still not back in work and Lorraine asked me if I’d give ARC another try, I said sure why not. I rang up and was advised to do the Stress Management course with Mary Scarf. Mary is fantastic, she made us realise what was going on in our bodies, taught us how to cope and gave us the tools to continue on with our journey. After being out of work for 5 years it took 5 months attending ARC to get back to work, thank you ARC, Mary and all of the ARC angels. You gave me my life back, I now hold my head up high and you can’t keep me quiet. I have a new look on life now and a positive one at that. In 2009 I had a few hiccups in my life and also 2018 so I went back to ARC for a top up!!
People ask when do you stop going to ARC, the answer is you don’t, but you don’t need it as much as you did earlier on in your journey. I did another course with Mary this year and Yoga and Pilates, thanks to Amy and Yvonne always getting me a place, ya little treasures!!! My life is well on track now and my beautiful little girl just celebrated her 5th birthday, my life is good.
I don’t do enough for ARC, but I try to do whatever I can when they ask. I could never repay ARC for what they have done for me. Just a little story…… I was at home one night when Lorraine noticed me being uptight and not in good form. The next day she mentioned that I was off the night before and suggested I pay a visit to ARC. I saw Mary for a counselling session which really helped me back on my feet and gave me the step up I needed.