John finds local care makes a difference


John, a builder from the Sutherland Shire, has been receiving chemotherapy treatment from Southside Cancer Care clinic for 18 months, and he commends the consistently and great service the staff provide.

John had been receiving radiation treatment for prostate cancer at St George Hospital in Kogarah. The specialist there recommended that he see Dr Tracey Dunlop, who is part of the Southside Cancer Care Centre team, for chemotherapy.

For John, one of the great benefits of the Southside Cancer Care Centre at Miranda is that it is located a short drive from his home in Cronulla, and he can use the centre’s parking spaces. “It’s unreal. The free parking is the big thing,” says John.

John works as a builder, and while his son and other staff do the building work, he remains involved in acquiring projects and materials for their building company. The local chemotherapy program with appointments spaced every few weeks has helped him to continue to work.

Over a long period of time visiting the centre, he has appreciated many aspects of its service and speaks highly of the staff members. John says, “They are all just fantastic. They really are. Tracey the specialist, all the nurses and receptionists – Esther, Kylie, Tiarne and Lara – they are just beautiful people.”

The quality of the staff’s assistance has made a big difference to John’s journey with cancer treatment. “When I needed to have scans done, they even book all that in for me,” says John.  I remember Tracey wanted me to have some scans, and it was pretty hard for me to get in. The staff just sort of took control of it, and they got me in for scans within a week.”

The centre’s chemotherapy treatment area has been designed with large windows that offer  great views, so patients have something interesting to look at and plenty of light. “It faces north – overlooking Botany Bay. It’s a top view,” affirms John.

At the moment, the length of his chemotherapy treatments has shortened. “When I first started, I was there for maybe even 6 hours. But now I’m only there for 20 minutes,” John reflects.

John has been well supported at home by his family and friends. “My wife works in the aged care sector, so she is pretty on the ball. She has an understanding of the situation that is probably more than the average person. She’s been great. They have all been great.”

Telehealth consultations with Dr Dunlop have helped to fill in the gaps during lockdown periods. “I speak to her with a phone hook-up instead of an appointment. That’s fantastic, keeping everybody safe,” says John.

For anyone in the area going through similar treatment, John would recommend Southside Cancer Care. “I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. From when you step up at the front desk, they are just fantastic. I can’t fault the staff. Honestly, they are just so good,” says John.

“It might sound funny,” John adds, “but I’m really glad I’m going there.”