North Taranaki Midweek
‘Unbelievable’ support during cancer journey
Chris Parata describes the support he received from the Cancer Society during his cancer journey as ‘‘unbelievable’’. The Christchurch man, pictured, was diagnosed with a rare form of stomach cancer in August 2020. He faced a long road of difficult treatment which pushed him to his limit.
Chris says that in mid-2019 he first noticed symptoms including stomach pain and acid reflux. In early 2020 it was found that he had a small stomach ulcer at the base of his stomach.
By May 2020 Chris was suffering from unbearable stomach pain as well as weight loss, and a CT scan in August revealed cancer.
Being told he had cancer was hard to take, Chris says: ‘‘My head was spinning. I was in denial. I rang my daughter and her partner and they came down to support me.’’
After surgery to remove the tumour and most of his stomach, Chris received both chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
Chris says the first week of his 16-week course of chemotherapy was all right, but it got more challenging. He found radiation therapy even harder.
‘‘Having it five days a week tested my body and my mind,’’ Chris says. ‘‘It created pain, uncertainty and dehydration and I got to the point where I’d had enough.’’
TAUTOKO TE RĀ DAFFODIL
Daffodil Day street collections are happening on Friday, August 26
■ Or donate online at daffodilday.org.nz
Daffodil Day symbolises hope for all New Zealanders impacted by cancer. Every day 71 New Zealanders are diagnosed with cancer. For more than 30 years New Zealanders have supported the work of the Cancer Society on Daffodil Day and they need your help again this year.
Following a break, four hours of fluids and encouragement from the nurses, Chris found the strength to continue with his treatment.
Chris also says having Catherine Dwan from the Cancer Society’s supportive care team there to talk to throughout his journey has meant a lot to him.
‘‘You need someone who understands what you are going through. Catherine understood where I was coming from,’’ he says.
Chris also really appreciated having the Cancer Society’s driving service available to transport him to his hospital appointments.
‘‘I take my hat off to the volunteer drivers.
‘‘Sometimes while I was having fluids, they would wait for two or three hours to take me home from my appointment,’’ he says.
Chris advises anyone affected by cancer to find out what support is available to them from their local Cancer Society.
‘‘It was a big help and took some of that stress away,’’ he says.
Your donation of $58 on Daffodil Day helps to fund counselling for people affected by cancer and their whānau.
To find out more or donate today, visit daffodilday.org.nz.
This article is published in association with the Cancer Society as part of a commercial arrangement between Stuff and the Cancer Society.