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What do you learn when you learn you have cancer?

Monday 25th Mar 2024

As part of this fundraising event, let me present my story to you.

I’d like to talk to you about The big C.

( The big C, Cancer)

I’m one of the many people who have cancer.

In my case, Prostate Cancer. Advanced.

When I found out, sometime around my 60th birthday, I had never had a PSA test (footnote 1)

This was probably due to the fact that I’d never had a family GP but usually just wandered into whatever bulk billing medical centre was closest when I had a health issue. There was no ‘whole health’.

So, around my 60th birthday, on the advice of another friend, I found a local doctor, a men’s health specialist, to manage my long term ongoing health. Someone to do my ‘whole picture’ health care. We did some scans and found my recent hip problems were osteo arthritis. We discussed a hip replacement. Some other things on the scans warranted further investigation so the doctor sent off some blood tests.

A few days later he rang me with the surprising bad news.

My PSA was 86.

Is that a lot?

At my age it should be around 3 or 4.

From just that number, he knew I had prostate cancer, and that it had gone unchecked for quite a while.

And so suddenly, from that conversation on, my life takes a significant turn and I am required to view things from a new and unfamiliar perspective.

This was the beginning of many scans and tests, trips to hospital, biopsies, specialists and results.

And of course, treatment.

(The big C, Cure)

The treatment you get recommended at this stage, absorbs your time and attention. A learning curve that takes your thoughts away from considering the repercussions and impact on your life.

My results were: Prostate Cancer. Stage 4. Gleeson 8. Metastasized to the spine and pelvis.

The good of this means that I don’t have to have my prostate out. It is too late, and it is still functioning.

The bad is that it is advanced to the incurable stage. The cancer has progressed to the bone and from there it will grow and spread on the bone.  

The treatments, which are highly effective, are to postpone the onslaught of the cancer. Take away it’s stimulant. To postpone the inevitable.

So, there is no cure, but there is a period where treatment can stop any growth.

In the case of Prostate cancer… and I should point out at this stage the cancer progressed to my bone is prostate cancer, not bone cancer and so is treated as such.. the stimulant for prostate cancer is androgens, one of them being testosterone.

(please take into account I am not a doctor, I’m relating what I have tried to understand from my treatment)

By keeping my testosterone down. The prostate cancer stops spreading.


This is simple and easy to absorb.

It was how I was able to explain to my kids that we have a way to address this problem.

I could tell them that I have cancer but that there is a simple plan to address it and that if I keep my testosterone low, I can carry on just as I am without any development of the disease.

My testosterone is zero.
which is quite low.

This in itself has its problems but it does effectively stop the cancer.

Do not worry about me picking a fight or stealing your women. It’s not in me.
I require injections once a month, which I do myself and I have to take a daily pill. In a few months it will change to a new more powerful pill.

You see, the body doesn’t want to be testosterone free. It wants to produce it. The injections trick the body into thinking it doesn’t need to make testosterone. But after a while the body gets canny. It has been duped. It begins producing testosterone. The new pills are introduced and have a new trick. The testosterone production stops. But slowly the body will come around to realising again, and another intervention is needed.

This is a bit like bacteria becoming immune to antibiotics. You need to have another more powerful antibiotic ready if that last one fails. Eventually, you’ve used up all your known antibiotics and nothing is left to fight the infection.

In the case of metastasized prostate cancer, if you run out of ways to stop the testosterone production then; boom, the cancer starts growing.

(the big C, Chemo)

I had chemotherapy for a few months as this apparently extends the life and the efficiency of the drugs that reduce testosterone.

Chemo we all know is not fun.

Weekly sessions, sitting in a very comfortable reclining chair with a drip fed from a machine that is controlling doses of liquids through your bloodstream.

I lost half my hair. All the grey. For some reason the white hair didn’t fall out. So, I had very thin white hair, but I wasn’t bald. Also, my body hair fell out. Chest, underarm, eyelashes - and my toenails are still recovering.

Chemo must kill all your good tummy bugs and so you feel pretty ill most of the time and your bowels aren’t great.

Nobody likes Chemo and of course you don’t see yourself getting better, just going downhill. You feel worse and worse as time progresses. But you know it is better for the long-term.

(the big C's. City vs Country)

The big difference for me, being from the city, is that I am close to the experts and the facilities.

I’m minutes away from the best cancer treatment facility in Sydney, The Kinghorn centre, where I meet with my Oncologist and have chemotherapy. I’ve had radiotherapy down the road at Genesis Care, scans at St. Vincents and a biopsy at St Vincents private. All within a block of each other.

I can get there on my motorcycle and back to work or home easily.

It is a lot tougher for country people who have to come down and find accommodation.

Radiotherapy sessions can be half an hour every day for a month.

For those needing treatment from Rural NSW, it is a whole different ballgame compared to my ease of access. They need to travel away from home and family. Accommodation costs at city prices and long periods of time spent away from home.

(There are accommodation options that the cancer council website can put you onto).

Accommodation for rural people is very important part of fundraising for Cancer organisations. In many cases, the great treatment is there. It is the costs of travel and accommodation that are subverting good outcomes.

(The big C, Costs)

My costs have been largely covered by medicare with some manageable amounts for Private being partly covered by my health fund.

Hugely expensive drugs are subsidised by the PBS. I still pay $90 a month for my injection but it would be out of my reach if not for the subsidy.

You’re just never sure when and where the costs a going to come from. My scans and tests seemed to all end up being free (or covered) then My biopsy operation ended up at St Vincents Private and I was out about $1500 for that after. Radiotherapy is costly but again subsidised by Medicare.

All in all, we are very lucky in Australia that we have the health care we do.

I’m always astounded at my Vet fees because we are so used to thinking healthcare cheap

….To be continued…..

  • Prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, is a protein produced by normal, as well as malignant, cells of the prostate gland. The PSA test measures the level of PSA in the blood. For this test, a blood sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis. The results are usually reported as nanograms of PSA per milliliter(ng/mL) of blood.




I'm Riding for Men's Health in The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride

Wednesday 20th Mar 2024

On Sunday the 19th of May 2024, I'm riding in The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride with fellow men and women across the globe to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer and men's mental health on behalf of Movember. Men die on average 6 years earlier than women and for largely preventable reasons. The number of men that are suffering is growing, and we need to do something about that. So, before I press my tweed and polish my boots, I'm asking you to join me in raising funds and awareness for these causes by donating what you can for this meaningful cause and to help the men we love, live happier and healthier lives.


My Team

Triumph Motorcycles

With 138 Riders

My Sponsors

Hurol Inan

$169 USD

Jonnie Vigar

Don't let off in the corners...

$136 USD

Susan Griffiths

Thinking of you Matt. Wishing you all the best xx

$136 USD

Philip Le Masurier


$136 USD

MV Luxury Yachts (Michelle & Viv)

We wish you all the best in your ride n the 19th and in continuing to fight the C. You’re an absolute legend Matt.

$136 USD

Peter Richter


$136 USD

B Hunt

Go Matt!!!

$136 USD

Matthew Cumming

$75 USD

Michael Elliott

There once was a sailor called Matt, who was handsome and knew where it’s at, the ladies adored him, and would always reward him, with fawning and coo-ing and that.

$68 USD

Bonnie McKenzie

$68 USD

Jack McIntyre

Enjoy the ride/new bike Matt, and all the best.

$68 USD

Tony Maynard

Inspiring how you've responded to all this Matt, I admire you.

$68 USD

Agata G

Good luck 🤞

$68 USD

Lucy Harris

Best skipper, chef, first mate, second mate, cabin crew, navigator, bosun, coxswain, marine electrician, nature photographer, documentary maker and all round top bloke!

$34 USD

Maree McKenzie

Enjoy the triumph

$34 USD

Ron McKenzie

Enjoy the ride Matt

$34 USD

Yaolan Liem

$34 USD

Pauline McKenzie

Have a great ride

$34 USD

Elly Bartens

Have a great ride Matt

$34 USD

Anna Karena

Hi Matt, hope you have a great trip. You’re looking good as usual 😊 Best, AK

$34 USD

Jake McLean

$34 USD

Gail Matthews

$34 USD

Nella Soeterboek

$34 USD

Kate Ellis

Great thing to do!

$34 USD

Sally Bowness

Hi Matt - with our love Sally, Kitty, Mercy & Honor 🥰

$34 USD


$20 USD

Jacob Harelick

$14 USD


$14 USD

Grace Winser

best of luck to you!!!

$14 USD

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