While admitting the outlook suggests otherwise, cancer patient Duncan Meadley can foresee his own survival.
‘‘Even though the odds are against me, I have always been positive,’’ he said.
‘‘I acknowledge death as a potential outcome and a ‘reality’ for us all but don’t feel or look like a dying man.
‘‘I am rational, logical, optimistic, focused and strong … I have foreseen my own survival and strive to understand and embrace my treatment.’’
Instead, Mr Meadley, 42, hopes his story can inspire others.
Last June, the Shell Cove resident was diagnosed with stage four gastroesophageal cancer, with metastases in his lungs, liver, lymph nodes and aorta.
He was given a poor prognosis, but doctors were surprised by his response to chemotherapy.
'It’s been a long, hard road together, but we’re a good team and we’ll get through this'
Mr Meadley said doctors have informed him his estimated chance of survival was at best 0.1 per cent, and he continues to undergo chemotherapy.
‘‘I had the diagnosis on the Thursday, a panic attack on the Friday,’’ he said of his initial reaction.
‘‘The tumours in my lungs and aorta are resolved, but I still have tumours on my liver, and the primary GI tumour, which are inoperable.’’
In January, there was another unfortunate discovery.
‘‘Three brain tumours were discovered after writing off my car in an accident when I drove into a truck, fortunately without my young family or other road users involved,’’ he said.
Earlier this week, Mr Meadley had radiation surgery at RPA on the three tumours, which he said had proceeded as planned.
Meanwhile, he is currently enjoying spending time with his wife-carer, Gabrielle, and sons Ronan, 12, Rorey, 8, and Maxwell, 6.
‘‘It’s been a long, hard road together, but we’re a good team and we’ll get through this,’’ he said.
‘‘I feel pretty fortunate that I have a chance to act, prepare and plan.’’
Mr Meadley participated in the survivors’ walk at last year’s Illawarra Relay for Life, and plans to do the same at this year’s Shellharbour Relay.
The event raises funds for the Cancer Council.
Shellharbour Relay for Life will take place at the Albion Park Showground on March 22-23.
You can donate by visiting relayforlife.org.au.