Matthew is my name. I am a mechanic by trade and I've worked in all facets of the industry over many years. I have lived and worked around Australia and in the south of Hungary, and have settled for now in Victoria, driving a truck for a local company. I'm a single bloke, l have 6 cars, 12 push bikes, 3 sheep, and 2 sheds full of good stuff.

On the 12th January last year after many months of tests and scans, I received the news that I had Stage 2, medium-grade prostate cancer.

I was at home at the time that my urologist rang me and gave me the news. It did come as a shock, but I also half expected it as my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer only eight months earlier. In saying that, once the news sank in I was devastated. I had no real symptoms. What now?

The 7th of February 2023 came around so bloody quickly. I was in hospital, paperwork done and I was in a bed just outside the operating theatre, staring at the ceiling thinking, "fffarr out, this is some serious stuff about to happen". The theatre nurses were great. We had a chat and they set me at ease, and then gave me the gas.

The operation went well and I was up and walking eight hours later. Recovery also went well, despite an infection slowing things down.

Unfortunately after the surgery my numbers didn’t come down enough so after some more tests, radiation and hormone therapy was next. This part of the journey was the hardest part.

It takes every bit of confidence away from you - the fatigue, the hot flushes, the brain fog, confusion with the simplest things, the loss of strength, and ultimately depression tries very hard to take over.

One of my radiation nurses suggested to me that a Look Good Feel Better workshop might be good for me and I am so glad she did. I was hesitant at first. I was still having radiation and feeling super tired but it was good to talk with other guys about stuff they were dealing with and their ways of coping. And the Look Good Feel Better volunteer's demonstration and advice on how to tackle certain issues with skin and hair was helpful. 

I had never realised the small things that can make so much difference - the realistic wigs, simple make-up applications to help with side effects like redness, sunscreen and hats, moisturiser for skin and nails, etc. Even just some small changes to a daily routine can be a huge help.

Last year was a bloody hard year but I have had a great team of doctors, surgeons, nurses, specialists, instructors and also some all-round good people in my friends and family looking after me. I know I am not alone.

I have a lot of work to do at home this year finishing my renos, selling some cars, doing some new fences and deciding what the next chapter of my life will be. And I hope it also continues to brings me good news and full- time normality.

The Look Good Feel Better program is a positive part of treatment and recovery from this terrible disease and really did help with returning some normality. I'm grateful to everyone that supports the program.
If you're able to make a tax-deductible donation to help the program continue to run free of charge for all Australians undergoing cancer treatment, please do.

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