A tonne of chemotherapy and Walter keeps smiling

05/Aug/2021     Health

Springfield retiree Walter Tweedie has recently completed his 100th chemotherapy session, but the 74-year old grandfather still manages to see the bright side of life.

Nursing staff at Mater Private Hospital Springfield last week marked Mr Tweedie’s milestone with a small party to acknowledge the resilience of their patient who has been battling cancer for the past 30 years.

“I was diagnosed with melanoma 30 years ago, which was managed with surgery and treatment,” he said.

“Unfortunately, I later developed bowel cancer which has spread to my lungs, liver and ribs and I have needed regular chemotherapy since.

“I do feel a little weary after treatment, but the good news is that my scans today are looking stable and I am generally doing well.” 

Mr Tweedie, who worked in commercial property for most of his life, says a positive mindset and a strong support network – including his three children and three grandchildren – had been crucial to meeting the challenges of cancer. 

“I also enjoy chatting with other patients, sometimes I will be having treatment and see a fellow patient who looks very down and depressed. I will offer to chat with them and try to make them feel better,” he said.

“I am guided by a strong faith which helps me maintain such an optimistic outlook on my health journey. I think having a positive mindset keeps you going through tough situations.” 

Mr Tweedie said he was humbled by the fact the staff hosted a party to mark his 100th treatment.

“The team made an incredible effort, putting up streamers and decorations for me and even bringing me a cake,” he said.

“I have been coming to Springfield for the past five years and it is by far the best hospital I have been to. Coming here is like being moved up to business class.

“It’s great to be able to get such good care in our own community without having to travel into the city.”

Nurse Unit Manager of the Mater Private Hospital Springfield Cancer Care Centre Billy Jovanovich said Mr Tweedie’s strength and positivity had been inspiring to staff and patients alike.

“We all feel privileged to know Walter, he is such an amazing man and when he comes into the Cancer Care Centre, he brightens everyone’s day,” she said.

“At his 100th treatment we honoured his Scottish heritage by playing the Edinburgh Military Tattoo – A Salute to Australia which he really enjoyed.

“We really love being able to add little touches to make our patients’ experiences a little less stressful.”

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