PROFESSIONAL AND CARING: Mathew Lane undergoes chemotherapy treatment with clinical nurse specialist Laura Healey at Newcastle Private Hospital.
At age 32, and just three weeks after the arrival of baby daughter Ellen, boilermaker Matthew Lane was diagnosed with bowel and liver cancer.
Immediate medical attention was required and Matthew was referred to the team at Newcastle Private Hospital.
“They were very professional in dealing with my situation and very understanding of where we were at as a family,” Matthew said.
FAMILY UNIT: Wife Kristi, Matthew, and Ellen appreciate the special consideration staff at Newcastle Private have provided to them as a young family in a difficult time.
“A plan of action was put in place and within five weeks of the birth I was getting treatment.”
Instead of being in the main oncology unit, Matthew, wife Kristi and Ellen were accomodatedin the ward so that they could be together as a family and keep Ellen safe from potential exposure to toxic chemicals.
They now attend hospital once a fortnight as a unit.
“I’ve taken to the treatment well,” Matthew said. “I’ve been lucky to not get sick and remain active, which is a big part of my recovery, and I can still work.”
Matthew says it has been extremely helpful and reassuring to deal with Newcastle Private Hospital.
“The team have been very accommodating for our needs from the moment of diagnosis,” Matthew said.
“It’s great that we do it all in one spot, and you’re not just another number, you are a person, which makes it a lot easier to face.
“We’ve built a relationship with the staff, and they love having Ellen around.
“Jenny [the unit manager] will take her for a wander to meet and greet everyone, which is really good while we do treatment.
“You need that strength and commitment to beat this thing. It’s a tough situation that you can’t go around, you have to go through it.”
The oncology unit at Newcastle Private Hospital is one of only two in the Hunter, the other being at Lake Macquarie.
An expert team of oncologists work out of the site on the John Hunter Campus at Rankin Park.
The oncology infusion unit has nine chairs, where day chemo is done, and a 10-bed oncology ward.
Patients can be admitted for long term stays, offering great range of service to those in need.
In December Matthew teamed with Newcastle Private Hospital to help raise over $10,000 for Bowel Cancer Australia.
“It’s called ‘Decembeard’, you grow a beard for the month of December but I already had a beard so I shaved it off,” Matthew said.
“I was proud and happy to support it. Jenny also wants me to be an ambassador on Bowel Cancer Day.
“Being told that without treatment you have 4-6 months to live really puts things into perspective.
“If my story can just get one person to go the the doctor as soon as something doesn’t seem right then I want my story to be told.”