FAM­ILY PUSHES FOR­WARD

Central Queensland News - - FRONT PAGE - Kris­ten Booth Kris­ten.Booth@cqnews.com.au

MOTHER and wife Wendy Gaskin was the cor­ner­stone of the fam­ily in one of their tough­est years.

Michael Gaskin was di­ag­nosed with prostate can­cer three years ago, af­ter doc­tors dis­cov­ered mark­ers in the rou­tine PSA test.

The 60-year-old Emer­ald man had been a paramedic for al­most 30 years, and was quite healthy and well, “so be­ing di­ag­nosed was quite a shock”.

His con­di­tion was mon­i­tored for 12 months but the can­cer be­gan to spread and surgery was needed.

Mr Gaskin said he was told he had op­tions to use ra­di­a­tion or take it out.

“I asked what my chances were and he (the doc­tor) said ‘well if you don’t do some­thing you’ve got five years’,” he said.

“I told him to get rid of it. I didn’t mind side ef­fects be­cause the other op­tion was a pine box.”

In the same year her hus­band re­ceived surgery, Mrs Gaskin was also deal­ing with her brother-in-law’s death from brain can­cer and her mother’s di­ag­no­sis of soft tis­sue can­cer in her leg.

De­spite the many chal­lenges fac­ing the fam­ily, Mrs Gaskin “kept on keep­ing on” and pro­vided the sup­port and dis­trac­tions for her hus­band and two teenage chil­dren, Me­gan and Ben.

“There are so many pres­sures on every­one,” she said.

“You just need to keep rou­tines and need to keep busy, also al­low­ing for that quiet time to process, but then you need to get back in the boat and keep on go­ing.

“You can’t to­tally fo­cus on it - you just need to ac­knowl­edge it and then work out a plan of at­tack and keep on go­ing with ev­ery­thing.”

With­out the sup­port of his wife, Mr Gaskin said the jour­ney would have been a lot more dif­fi­cult.

“She is just amaz­ing,” he said.

“Wendy is very good at do­ing what you have to do and liv­ing life nor­mally, as best you can.

“Some­times you can be neg­a­tive; I can be neg­a­tive, but you just can’t be in that re­gard, and that’s where Wendy comes in; she just lev­els me up.”

Now hav­ing re­ceived the all-clear, Mr and Mrs Gaskin are en­cour­ag­ing other men and women to be proac­tive in hav­ing reg­u­lar checks.

“With prostate can­cer, if they get it early like with me, it’s to­tally cur­able, or in my case it was taken out,” Mr Gaskin said.

“I wasn’t sick, not at all, I felt fine, there were no symp­toms what­so­ever – just get a silly old blood test, that’s all it is.

“Get tested early, be­cause it works and I’m liv­ing proof of it.”

PHOTO: KRIS­TEN BOOTH

KEEP ON KEEP­ING ON: Wendy, Ben, Me­gan and Michael Gaskin. Michael was di­ag­nosed with prostate can­cer three years ago.

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