Sheila knows everyone is number one at Southside Cancer Care


Sheila has been attending Southside Cancer Care for treatment over the past four years. She has high praise for the staff she adores and is happy to spread the word about Sutherland Shire’s purpose-built facility for cancer patients.

“Until I went there, I didn’t know the Cancer Centre was even there,” says Sheila. “Honestly, more people need to know about it.”

Sheila’s journey began out of left field after symptoms, and a subsequent ultrasound at Sutherland Hospital picked up her cancer. After numerous tests, a range of specialists were consulted to find out more about her condition.

One of the doctors explained that he would have to hand her over to an oncologist. “The next morning, the GP rang me and booked me into Southside. And that is where I met Dr Tracey Dunlop,” says Sheila.

Sheila currently attends the centre every three weeks, and she appreciates the set-up, with chairs for chemotherapy patients that face a beautiful view. “The huge window and views are amazing,” she adds.

She has come to know the centre’s staff well over the long course of her treatment. Dr Dunlop and the other staff members are “brilliant”, according to Sheila. The reception staff are attentive and can help her organise appointments when needed. “Everybody is very efficient.”

For Sheila, the best way to describe her emotional response to the centre is, “When you walk in, you don’t feel like you are ‘home alone’!”

She continues, “Three people I adore are Stephanie, as you walk in, the pharmacist Camilla, and of course, Nursing Unit Manager Esther. They are all so caring in their different ways. Having different personalities like that is really good. Because a person can choose who they do or don’t want to confide in.”

Sheila’s husband drives her to appointments, which are convenient for the shire residents. The facility is located near Westfield Miranda, and Southside has parking spots allocated for patients. “How civilised is that? You park underneath,” Sheila comments.

Having lived in the Woronora River area for decades, Sheila feels very fortunate. “It is still just a glorious place to live. It’s just the pace. You sit here, you watch the canoes, you watch everybody, it’s beautiful.” She thinks the tranquil setting of “the Wonny” makes it easier for her to recuperate, “Living where we live helps.”

Sheila values the presence of her long-time neighbours and the assistance of her family. “I do have massive support, which is fantastic. I’m very, very fortunate I have a wonderful husband and wonderful children.”

She also gives credit to the Southside staff and centre. “When you go in, you are number one. Everybody is number one. It is lovely.” If locals sought her advice on cancer treatment options, Sheila reckons, “I would tell them to go to the GP and make sure that they go to Southside.”