"Dad was always a strong fighter right up until the end. Nothing was too much for dad. His cancer story started back in 1990 when a Melanoma was found. Surgery and treatment then followed. After getting the all clear Dad was away and back to a normal life."
In 2007 Dad was diagnosed with bowel and liver cancer. So off to Ballarat it was for surgery and treatment. They removed the tumours from his bowel and it was decided to treat the liver cancer with some chemo. They tried so many different types of chemo's. At one stage Mum and Dad travelled weekly to Ballarat for over 90 weeks in a row to receive treatment. No matter how ill Dad was with treatment he always said when asked how you feeling Dad/Billy his reply was never felt better. His battle lasted 8 years to the day starting chemo. Dad was always willing to try any sort of treatment no matter the side effects. Including a few trials, one from Germany.
Cindy my late partner lost her battle with melanoma, February 10th 2012. While she was in hospital in Colac Dad made an extra special effort to spend as much time as possible with her. Even making a detour via Colac after receiving treatment in Ballarat.Cindy went peacefully not long after, I'm still convinced to this day that she was hanging on just for him to be there.
Dad was also very determined especially when it came to the massive fundraiser for the new Ballarat Cancer centre. This started out as 4 blokes selling a few raffle tickets, but due to illness with the other blokes, Dad on his own sold endless tickets and hosted a number of other fundraising events to raise a total of $107,000.
The 4 boys at day oncology called themselves the Bay 13 boys.
They even made Dr Geoff Chong their oncologist become a member before being allowed to treat them. The boys shared many laughs and memories while receiving treatment. Sadly over the time the Bay 13 boys lost their battle with cancer. Dad was now known as the last man standing. He even found a sign with "Bills bar the last man standing".
It went everywhere with him.
Dad also had a passion for Relay For Life. He was the official ribbon cutter at Corangamite relay in 2012 and in 2014 here at Warrnambool relay for life he was a candle bearer both which he was very honoured and proud to be apart of.
As a family we named Dads battle "Dad's journey".
He fought a long battle and refused to let it beat him. Even at one stage DR Geoff Chong said to him " Bill I don't normally see patients for 8 years".
Sadly late last January Dad was diagnosed with a brain tumour. His current chemo was stopped. He was transferred to the Austin hospital where surgery was completed to remove the tumour days before Relay For Life Warrnambool & District. He was adamant that we attend the event and to make sure his relay top was worn. So we did what he wanted.
Not long after returning home from hospital Dads liver was blocked as the tumours grew. So back to hospital it was for some surgery to remove the blockage. It was successful.
At the start of May Dad had a seizure and back to hospital in Ballarat it was. Scans were completed to show that the tumour had grown back. He was then transferred to the Austin again to have the tumour removed. He made a speedy recovery. Radiation was on the cards for the start of June.
Dad had another set back with another blockage in his liver early June. Sadly it was too complicated and Dad decided enough was enough. He wanted to go home and spend as much time as possible with his family and friends. He had a lot of visitors in the last few weeks, right up until the last week when it got too much for him. He just wanted family. Dad fought the fight of his life right up until peacefully going in his sleep on Monday 6thJuly 2015.
Our Family are very grateful for the amazing effort of the Surgeons, oncologists, Drs and nurses at Ballarat Health Service, Camperdown and Austin Hospital they truly are amazing and dedicated to help the sick enjoy life for as long as they can.