How one man survived ‘hell’
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
“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.