This Christmas your donation could help someone - a father, a grandfather, a friend, get the counselling they need.
Pete’s story helps you to understand the important role wrap-around support plays in someone’s cancer journey. One in eight New Zealand men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, so it’s no wonder men like Pete reach out to the Cancer Society for support.
Five years ago, Pete had a biopsy of his prostate after a routine blood test showed a high PSA (prostate-specific antigen) level. Still groggy, the urologist delivered devastating news: “stage four cancer”.
“Within weeks, I went from feeling healthy to thinking, I’m going to die within a couple of months!” says Pete.
After his shock diagnosis, Pete underwent two years of intensive hormone treatments, followed by 12 weeks of radiotherapy and two weeks of chemotherapy. Pete’s response to his treatment was sudden and drastic – gaining 30 kgs, losing muscle and growing breast tissue.
“I was depressed that I’d gained weight. I was angry that I couldn’t go out for my morning run, or I couldn’t walk more than one and a half kilometres without becoming exhausted.”
When Pete’s depression and anger began to affect his relationship, the Kāpiti Cancer Society Centre put him in touch with counsellor Viv.
“In the first session, there were a lot of silences, but I remember saying to Viv, ‘Where do I start? I have so much bottled up; I’m scared of offloading in case I break and can’t recover.’ But the skill that Viv’s got is amazing. She started that whole readjustment of my thought process. It doesn’t matter how I went into her office. I came out feeling valued, respected, cared for, and that I was a person and a man, not just a statistic.”
The counselling services available from the Cancer Society are always in high demand, and we rely on the generosity of others so people like Pete can get the emotional support and care to overcome anxious times. We want to be there for every New Zealander who needs us – but we can’t do it without your help.
This Christmas will you make a donation to help someone – a father, a grandfather, a brother, a son, a friend, a partner – get the counselling they need?