Friends and colleagues of mine who know of Steve’s advanced melanoma, often ask me how he is doing. When I tell them that he is doing really well: working full time, going to the gym daily and living life to the full, they seem surprised.
Most don’t expect that a man with advanced cancer, who undergoes treatment fortnightly, can still live a relatively normal life. Most, of course, don’t really know the kind of man my Pirate truly is.
“Fill me with the good stuff.”
This has become his mantra when he checks into Hotel Greenslopes for treatment in the ‘green chair’. Although, he admits to never being really used to having the cannula inserted for his infusion, the Pirate sees treatment day as being another step closer to NED. His positivity is inspiring to so many, but know that he does have his down days, when it all gets too much. It doesn’t last too long, but I know that having cancer is in the back of his mind at all times and sometimes, he just needs to forget about it.
So, of course, when I told people that my Pirate was heading south on his own to complete a fitness challenge, I received incredulous looks.
Who’d have thought that just two days after treatment, the Pirate would be in Sydney competing in the Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest challenge?
I must admit that I was a little concerned when he said he wanted to give it a go. I was worried how the stress and strain of such a challenge would affect him (and if I am really honest, I didn’t want him to go without me!) However, I know my Pirate and, when he sets his mind to do something, nothing and no one can stand in his way.
So, on the last weekend of the school year, he hopped on a plane and made his way to Sydney for a weekend on his own, to forget that he was living with cancer.
After completing 50 obstacles over 10 kilometres in under 2 hours, the Pirate’s sense of achievement had been boosted; his pride had been topped up again. He was so pleased with himself, so happy that he didn’t let cancer get in the way of achieving his goals and living the life he has always wanted.
And so was I.