Imagine how your whole life would change if you heard the words “You have bowel cancer”. For Elise, hearing these words ignited her will to fight.
Elise had no symptoms of bowel cancer, so the diagnosis came as a complete shock.
Suffering from a sudden heart attack, Elise required a triple-bypass and a short while after her operation, felt something burst in her stomach.
“At first, I was teary and upset. But then I thought, ‘Why should I be? I’m in good hands at Mater.’ I’ve been through a lot, and am still here.”
“Normally, surgeons remove as much of the cancer as possible but in my case, they couldn’t operate as the cancer is behind my intestines. Chemotherapy is my only hope.”
“I’m happy at Mater—I feel at home. It’s welcoming.”
Funds provided by Mater Foundation through Dry July has allowed the creation and installation of wall murals, designed to lift patients’ moral and mental health during their time at the MCCC. The murals—‘Kimberley sunset in Kakadu’ and ‘Scenic Rim’ were captured by photographer Vanessa Bertagnole—allow patients to view the sunset while walking through the hospital corridors and support the healing journey of Mater’s patients.
For almost one and a half years, Elise has been a patient at the Mater Cancer Care Centre (MCCC).
“It’s wonderful to be able to go for a walk while receiving treatments, see these murals and not feel trapped inside. I feel I can escape from my treatments, for a short while.”
Elise’s ongoing treatment is proving positive, and her goal of beating cancer looks promising. Recent scans showed that her cancer is in a state of stasis. Her treatments continue to ensure that the cancer will not grow again.
To anyone who knows a friend or family member with cancer, Elise has a message.
“Treat us as we are. Don’t stay away. Come together in support of one another. Don’t feel sorry.”