How one man sur­vived ‘hell’

Whangarei Report - - FRONT PAGE -

Whanga¯ rei man Adam Davis knows just how valu­able the Can­cer So­ci­ety can be.

The 47-year-old was di­ag­nosed with throat can­cer, caused by the Hu­man Papil­lo­mavirus (HPV), in Septem­ber last year.

“For about a month be­fore I had been hav­ing dif­fi­culty swal­low­ing.”

He started seven weeks of ra­di­a­tion treat­ment, com­bined with three rounds of chemo­ther­apy, in Novem­ber.

Davis summed his treat­ment up sim­ply: “Hell”.

He stayed at the Can­cer So­ci­ety­owned and run Do­main Lodge in Auck­land dur­ing his treat­ment, which in­cluded over Christ­mas. “They made the ex­pe­ri­ence sur­viv­able. I didn't have to worry about ac­com­mo­da­tion, park­ing, trav­el­ling. There was some­one on hand to help with ad­vice.”

Davis said one of the big­gest sup­ports was for his

wife, Tina.

“It’s the sup­port peo­ple it’s re­ally hard for be­cause they’re see­ing some­one they love go through some­thing they can’t do any­thing about.”

He said the lodge had get­to­geth­ers, such as morn­ing teas, for the sup­port peo­ple.

“I think that’s what kept my wife sane.”

Davis said when the Can­cer So­ci­ety is re­ally good is af­ter treat­ment, with phone calls and check-ups by a nurse.

“You’ve still got a fo­cus on you from some­one who knows what you’re go­ing through.”

He said he could raise things like con­cerns about med­i­ca­tion and ex­er­cise. The nurse makes sug­ges­tions on ways to im­prove, things to look out for and gives pos­i­tive re­in­force­ment.

“Every time we talk there’s some­thing she can tell me that I never thought about.”

Davis, who has an adult son and two step-chil­dren, started back at work only a few weeks af­ter treat­ment and his tu­mour is gone.

“It’s gone, so I’ve got the all­clear from that.”

He said this type of can­cer has a 50/50 sur­vival rate at five years.

Davis still suf­fers with tin­ni­tus, some of his taste, which had been dis­torted, has come back and he still has some saliva glands.

Davis also en­cour­aged boys and girls to get the HPV vac­ci­na­tion.

Adam Davis

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