27 September 2017
Dave Platt is a Mount Gambier local who regularly stays at the Cancer Council Lodges. Since being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2004, he has stayed at the Greenhill Lodge with his wife, Paula, more times than he can remember. He shares his story, tracking the ups and downs of his 13-year battle, and how a roof over his head provided comfort in a time of need.
Tell us about how you first heard the news.
My local GP referred me to a specialist in Adelaide. I had a biopsy taken and returned to get my results the next day, when I was told I had cancer which had come out of my prostate, into my lymph glands, and up into my seminal tubes.
How do you react to something like that?
I was gobsmacked. I just couldn’t believe that it could happen to me. I sat in my car and cried for an hour, I was so shocked.
Did you have an idea of how bad it was?
The specialist told me that my Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test score was 19, and that I was looking at six months to live. A week later, I was in St Andrew’s Hospital having surgery to remove my prostate, lymph glands and seminal tube, before undergoing seven weeks of radiotherapy. During that time, we stayed at what was then the Cancer Council Seaview Lodge.
How did staying at the Lodge help you?
We used the counselling services, and the staff could sort out any problems for us. If we hadn’t have stayed at the Lodge, it would have cost us a great deal of money. It would not have done my health any good worrying about accommodation on top of everything else.
How did you cope?
My wife and I walked for an hour and a half every day, in an attempt to keep my mind off of everything that was happening. I think the most positive thing that arose from it was knowing that I had to take every day as a bonus.
What words of wisdom can you share with others who might be going through a tough time?
Keep a positive mindset and don’t let it get you down if possible.
In 2014, after 10 years in remission, Dave faced another setback. During a check-up, doctors found cancer in his spine, ribs and left ankle. In spite of his diagnosis, Dave has continued to remain positive and is taking one day at a time.
Over 30,500 nights of accommodation were provided at Cancer Council Lodge last year. The ongoing contribution from generous South Australians ensures people like Dave can continue to attend appointments in the city, and have access to a range of life-changing support services.
Public Relations Advisor
Cancer Council SA