18 May 2022
When David Phelps was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018, he was unsure where to turn for support.
That was until he met his “guardian angel” - a Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse at Liverpool Hospital in Sydney who continues to help him through his diagnosis and treatment every step of the way.
David was first diagnosed with prostate cancer after he noticed ongoing pain in his lower abdomen. His GP requested a PSA test and was referred to a urologist for investigation.
On July 23 at 61 years of age, he was told that he was “riddled with aggressive prostate cancer” with a Gleason score of 10, which had already spread to his bones. From his skull to his pelvis and everywhere in between.
Receiving news of a cancer diagnosis can be traumatic for many but David took it in his stride.
He started chemotherapy, followed by radiation to his right eye socket to stop the cancer spreading. Today, he continues to be on Lucrin to extend his life.
“Lucrin injections have caused a lot of stress and resulted in weight gain, fatigue and ongoing breathlessness, which is really difficult, but this is the card I’ve been dealt, so I’ll continue dealing with it.
“Thankfully, not long after my diagnosis I was referred to Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse Diana Ngo who has been like a guardian angel to me.
"It is such an incredible service. They know what you’re going through. They know what is available and what may help or what may not.
“It is hard to put into words how outstanding they are. The quality and performance of both Diana and Samantha (who supported me when Diana was on leave) is exemplary, and I could not ask, or wish, for anything more.
“Nothing is too much trouble for them. They make the time and effort to listen, and after I speak with them, I always feel like I’ve had a pick-me-up. They help me stay in a positive frame of mind.”
David said having access to support services has made his journey easier to manage and given him the confidence to find his way back to some of his life-long hobbies.
“I’m a huge motorcycle fan. It’s been hard to ride a motorbike but I’m looking forward to getting back out on the bike for the first time again soon and getting back to doing some of those things that I enjoy.
“This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Diana and Samantha.”
David said if he could give just one message to other men going through the same thing, it was to take advantage of all the support available to them.
“Take advantage of the care and support that PCFA gives. Their nurses’ knowledge, their care and support, and availability will help you get through your worst days.
“I have incurable cancer, but I consider myself lucky that I met these guardian angels.”
In 2020, David penned a letter to our nurses thanking them for their service. You can read the full letter here: https://www.prostate.org.au/media/790731/david_letter-to-nurses.pdf
Thank you to David for sharing your experience, and for your generosity and support to PCFA.
If men or families need support or would like to be connected to a PCFA Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse, please reach out via 1800 22 00 99 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can also be found at www.pcfa.org.au.