Screening saves lives

Sean with his young sons Henry and Patrick.

Maldon’s CFA Captain Sean McCubbin has spent the last few months fighting more than just fires.

The Maldon CFA Captain learned of his latest battle when he was diagnosed with bowel cancer in April.

“You often think you’re bulletproof, but you’re not,” Sean said.

A rushed trip to the hospital after a seemingly ‘normal day’ led to the diagnosis.

“I’d been to work all day, my boss mentioned I looked a bit pale, but I didn’t think anything of it,” he said.

“I got home from picking my boys up from day care, walked through the front door and fell flat on my face.”

An ambulance was called and Sean found himself in the same position his father had been and his grandfather before that.

“The men in my life were the types of people that wouldn’t speak about that kind of thing,” Sean said.

“But we need to break the phobia and make sure people get checked, you need to be aware of these things.”

Sean said being in the care of Bendigo Health’s Stomal Therapy team made a big difference to his journey.

“The ability of those girls to reassure me and make me feel comfortable was just amazing,” he said.

“They thought of every little detail. Even when they were talking about where my stoma bag would go, they took where my firefighting harnesses would sit into consideration.”

Sean said the support from organisations such as the Australian Council of Stoma Associations Inc. also helped.

“They’re fantastic, that side of things hasn’t been as hard,” he said.

Taking a minute for yourself and checking in with your own health is something Sean wished he had done.

“Education is critical,” he said.

“Cancer is an epidemic in all senses of the word. If you can keep an eye on your health, it can make a world of difference.”

June is National Bowel Cancer Awareness month.

Rotary bowel scan test kits are now on sale for $25 each at Amcal Pharmacies in Castlemaine and Maldon and Terry White Pharmacy in Mostyn Street Castlemaine.

If you’d like to learn more about bowel cancer screening or where to get support visit
This article is courtesy of Bendigo Health.