Trevor continues his fight against prostate cancer thanks to Mater
At 55 years of age, Trevor Eales was running marathons and living an active lifestyle when life as he knew it changed dramatically.
It was in 2002 when Trevor woke to find he was struggling to urinate. He had already had an enlarged prostate, a common ailment for his age, but thought he should see his GP to investigate.
Trevor went for a biopsy and it showed he had cancer in the right side of his prostate.
“I was in shock and my wife was understandably upset but I saw the diagnosis as a challenge I had to face,” he said.
“I was referred to Mater for surgery to remove the prostate and some nerves on the side of it, but then a month later my Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) reading went up further which showed there were still some cancerous cells in my body. I was told that I could have up to five years to live.”
Shocked, Trevor took charge of his health and focused on healthy eating and keeping active, as well as fulfilling his dream of buying on acreage.
However over the years, Trevor’s PSA level skyrocketed and after seeking medical advice, he was told he had secondary bone cancer in his skull, back, ribs and hips, as well as lymph nodes in his chest.
Trevor and his family were devastated.
“I was put on hormone therapy to decrease my PSA level but this caused me to put on a lot of weight. I stopped the hormone treatment and followed a naturopathic treatment regime but this unfortunately didn’t work for me,” he said.
Then in July 2014, Trevor was admitted to Mater Private Hospital Brisbane for surgery to drain cancerous lymphatic fluid from his chest cavity, which was causing him breathing difficulties.
“My cancer was very widespread and I took the advice to see an oncologist at Mater’s Cancer Care Centre which was a very wise decision,” Trevor said.
“I started hormone therapy and chemotherapy and over time, my PSA level dropped from 1480 to 36.”
But Trevor was not in the clear yet.
Mid last year Trevor’s PSA level began rising rapidly again. His oncologist at Mater prescribed different daily medications, while also continuing to have a four-weekly bone strengthening drug and three-monthly hormone injections.
Fortunately for Trevor, this new treatment is working exceptionally well and his last PSA test showed a very low score of just 10.
While Trevor still visits Mater to receive bone strengthening treatment and lives with numerous cancers, he feels blessed to have a “good quality of life”—something he attributes to the exceptional care and treatment he’s received at Mater Cancer Care Centre.
“My oncologist and his team have saved my life and given me more time to spend with my wife, children and grandchildren,” he said.
Trevor leads an active life as a retiree, spending most of his days working on his 34-acre block outside Laidley in Queensland, digging out and picking up large rocks and removing lantana. And he and his wife enjoy travelling a few days each month between hospital visits.
“We’d love to go around Australia or drive across to Perth, but as my treatment necessitates me being in Brisbane every four weeks, we explore a new destination in southern Queensland or northern New South Wales on each mini holiday,” Trevor said.
Trevor has also seen the wonderful work being carried out by Mater researchers who are passionate about improving the lives of men with prostate cancer through their research.
“There has been great progress in the effectiveness of treatment over the years for prostate cancer sufferers all thanks to ongoing dedicated research. But Mater Research still needs our support to continue this great work that will improve the lives of so many people like myself,” he said.
When you take on a Smiddy Challenge or donate to a loved one who is, you're helping to get the one-up on cancer for people like Trevor. Thank you.