Malcolm’s Story

Malcolm Buchanan

My Journey started a few weeks after I completed the Taupo Cycle Challenge in November 2015, badly, I must add. After a GP visit with the symptoms of a bleed, a colonoscopy was organized, and bowel cancer was diagnosed when I was 65. My first introduction to cancer treatment was chemo and radiation in January 2016. Surgery followed, which resulted in a stoma. Coming to terms with this lifestyle change was made easier with the help of my wonderful local community nursing team.

February ‘17 brought another operation to reverse the previous procedure. September ’17 and blood tests revealed lesions on my liver and lung. This required a trip to Auckland City Hospital, where the problem was solved with another surgical procedure. May ’21 brought another problem, this time with my lungs. Waikato Hospital beckoned. Two operations, one month apart, fixed the issue. Although my lung function was impaired, it did not pose any real hardship. No more walking up the Mount, I contented myself with walking round with the local Cancer Society Walking for Wellness group.

Late last year, a routine scan revealed tumours on my abdominal lymph glands, liver and lungs. Another course of chemo was advised, and it was started in November. A scan in February to determine the success of the chemo revealed that the treatment was unsuccessful. The decision to halt the treatment was taken by the oncology team. I was pleased that this was taken out of my hands as I was close to asking that it be halted as I was not coping well with the side effects, both physically and mentally.

Having come to terms with the future, however long that will be, five months on, I feel well and getting on with my life.

Throughout my treatments, the care and support from the medical and nursing teams has been exceptional, and I couldn’t have asked for anything else.

My cancer has taken away from me many things, but I have gained tremendous support from my family and friends.

Photo caption- Malcolm pictured with his sons at a White Ferns game.