I had an oesophagectomy in 2021.

There was no warning about my diagnosis [of oesophageal cancer] before my surgery. It just came from nowhere. Everything moves so quickly. It was quite impressive that I got in and had things done so quickly. I saw the team before the operation and there were lots of people, the faces are hazy. I came in early on the morning of the procedure, and things proceeded very quickly. I didn’t sit around for too long before being taken in, I went straight in to see the doctors and the preparation.

I felt apprehensive leading up to surgery. I was worried at how it was going to go. If this is bad, what do I do? I took it in to a certain degree and to the best of my ability. I had no choice really. I felt I was in good hands. I met [the surgeon] beforehand and everyone else I met believed he was an absolute gem. I talked about it with my wife the night after.

I judged my surgical experience in Australia compared to what I have seen in [other countries]. These were people who like to put themselves on the top of pedal stools. People at Eastern Health were very approachable and down to earth, which meant the world to me. This helped me big time. People talked with me, not down to me. I had a fantastic experience with the team and I can’t fault them. Throughout my journey, it was important to me to have someone to contact if I’m having problems. I think that’s quite important. So far, I have been provided with this. I’m still seeing the Surgical and Oncology teams.

Do you have any advice for any future patients awaiting surgery?

Assess where you are and accept the position you’re in and hope for the best. I met the staff that were going to be involved and I was quite happy,. I had no choice but to accept that they could help me. All I could expect was the best and I had no doubt they would do it. I appreciated all the support that I got at Eastern Health afterwards.