Geraldton mayor Ian Carpenter has revealed an ongoing battle with prostate cancer, as West Australians today commemorate Daffodil Day.
Mr Carpenter, first diagnosed in 2000, has had his prostate removed and has had radiotherapy since 2005.
He said it was hard to tell if he had beaten the disease, but he maintained a positive outlook.
“It’s probably still there but it’s controlled,” he said.
“It’s something I will die with and not die of.”
The 63-year-old leads a busy lifestyle, managing an insurance brokerage as well as carrying out his mayoral duties.
He also cycles daily to maintain fitness and rebuild muscle, to combat the effects of his treatment.
Mr Carpenter said the original diagnosis came as a shock, but the condition was not particularly painful and he tried to be proactive with his treatment.
“It’s just a matter of working your way through the matrix to work out how you’re treated best,” he said.
“The most likely issue is it going to your bones.
“That’s why the people who have it have regular abdominal and bone CT scans.
“I’ve been very persistent with follow ups. You’ve got to be very proactive.”
Mr Carpenter said it was also important to keep a positive attitude and have a support network.
“I’m one of those people that believe if you don’t keep your mind active you deteriorate quickly,” he said.
“I’ve had a lot of support from my family, they’ve been there.”
Mr Carpenter has spent the past seven weeks in Perth for radiotherapy.
During his treatments he stayed at the Cancer Council WA’s Crawford Lodge, a two-storey building for country cancer patients, within the grounds of Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.
“For me the standout feature of staying at Crawford Lodge was the opportunity to meet and chat with other guests,” he said.
“It’s really helpful to talk to others who are facing similar challenges while going through cancer treatment.”
Mr Carpenter said the most important thing was to be open about cancer and well-being.
“People come to me and say ‘how are ya?’ and mostly I say ‘I’m fine’,” he said.
“‘But how are you really?’
“The more you talk to people the better we understand (each other).”
Daffodil Day merchandise is available at participating shops and raises money for the WA Cancer Council.
For more information or to donate call 1300 656 585 or visit www.cancerwa.asn.au/
- Geraldton Prostate Cancer Support Group: 9964 2525.
- Geraldton Indigenous Women Breast Cancer Support Group: 9964 2972.
- Geraldton Younger Women and Cancer Support Group: 9956 2408.