Darroll is a proud octogenarian, who is now cancer free. Describing himself as a “survivor”, he’s living his best life with wife, Patty, three children and six grandchildren, enjoying every precious moment and some awe-inspiring life experiences, like skydiving! For Darroll, his extended cancer journey has given him a new lease on life.
Darroll from near Tumbarumba in south-west NSW
Back in 2010, Darroll, who lives 20 kilometres from Tumbarumba in south-west NSW, was experiencing intense pain. His local GP sent him to Wagga Wagga, where a tumour, the size of a “little-kid football”, was picked up on a CT scan. Following an emergency trip to Sydney, he was formally diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
What transpired was a harrowing time for Darroll and his close-knit family, which included weekly trips to Wagga Wagga for eight rounds of R-CHOP or chemoimmunotherapy. However, after round seven, Darroll developed a lung infection, requiring 32 different antibiotics and four blood transfusions. He lost 15 kilograms.
Facing the prospect of 20 rounds of radiotherapy, and daily return travel between home and Wagga Wagga, he and Patty were bearing the weight of a huge emotional, physical and financial strain, made even more traumatic when a kidney stent became blocked and Darroll ended up with blood poisoning and his kidneys ultimately collapsed.
Thankfully, Darroll recovered. He thought it was the last of the illness.
In 2019, seven years later, Darroll was diagnosed with prostate cancer — and an all-too-familiar 20 rounds of radiotherapy began. This time, Darroll and Patty stayed at Lilier Lodge in Wagga Wagga, a warm and supportive home-away-from-home for cancer patients travelling long distances for treatment, like Darroll.
“Lilier Lodge is a marvelous place to stay at while having treatment. It’s like one big, happy family who were there for you at all times making it easier to cope, says Darroll.
“It really made a difference being around people who understood each other, not just for me, but also for Patty who had other carers to lean on. We talked, we listened, shared our stories and had each other’s back.”
Darroll would like to thank Can Assist Tumbarumba branch:
“Without the help of the branch, things would have been a lot harder for me. They assisted me during my cancer treatments, paying many accounts, including medical out-of-pocket expenses and travelling costs. Plus, the members had talked to me about what I was going through and if they could help in other ways,” he says.
“What a wonderful organisation we have here in Tumbarumba, with exceptional and kind workers. A lot of stress and worries were avoided so I could concentrate on getting better. Thanks a lot for everything. Let’s hope it’s there forever to keep on helping all those in need. I give them 100 out of 100 for their assistance.”