August 2, 2023

“I’d sort of been noticing a few symptoms of going to the bathroom and seeing a bit of blood and all that sort of carry on, which was something that I’d had on and off for a while – and then I finally was sent for a colonoscopy…”.

Dai Henwood’s courageous interview with The Project NZ about his stage 4 bowel cancer diagnosis has raised vital awareness about bowel cancer and the importance of seeking medical advice for any ‘out of the norm’ symptoms.

Dai was diagnosed in April 2020 and has gone through multiple rounds of chemotherapy, high-dose radiation, three lung surgeries, and has had parts of his liver and bowel removed.

“Cancer doesn’t define me. How I respond to it defines me,” Dai said.

He thanked New Zealanders for their support after he revealed he had stage 4 bowel cancer. “The outpouring of love from New Zealand has given me so much faith in humanity. So I just want to say thank you to everyone out there who sent me messages, people who have sent me tips or jokes or good vibes. I’ve felt pretty blessed to be a New Zealander.”

Dai was asked by a supporter about how best to provide support for a friend undergoing chemotherapy and what a “great chemo care pack would look like”.

Suggestions from Dai were an Uber Eats voucher to someone’s account or texting an offer to pick up a certain food the person might be craving.

He also made note of saying those undergoing radiation may like hand cream, moisturiser, or body oil, and even something simple like a new toothbrush and sensitive toothpaste, as oral hygiene is “really important” during treatment.

Speaking of his own tough times, Dai credits his spirituality, the martial art of qigong and meditation for keeping him “calm and loving”.