Fourteen years ago when Jane Hanna heard her partner Garry was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer, she wished there was someone she could talk to.
Throughout the past 14 years, she has thought the same thing many times.
Now, the Dubbo couple will be two of hundreds of people who will benefit from the Prostate Cancer Foundations new telenursing services, thanks to those who took part in Dry July.
Dry July has awarded $800,000 to the foundation to launch the new telenursing service which will provide access to specialist's support, be it through information, advice or just support for those affected by prostate cancer.
Garry was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer in 2006.
The couple visited a specialist after Garry's PSA test flagged a high PSA level. The test had been taken in 2004, but they had only become aware, two years later that the levels were high.
At the time of diagnosis Jane said she went onto autopilot.
"First things first, we had to tell Garry's four children and mother, and we knew that was going to be hard," she said.
Fourteen years later during a recent visit to get his hormone scripts and Garry has been told his PSA level is rising once again.
"It was a complete shock," Jane said.
"Just sometimes it's also okay to step to the side a while to get some thoughts sorted, gather some strength, and not have to worry about crying every time someone close asks 'how are you?'," Jane said.
"Because then I can put my blinkers back on, ready to re-enter the life lane and go again. Pit stops are needed, it's a thing, and it's the one thing that gets me through as Garry's 'person'."
Over the years Jane said she wished there had been a specific service she could have spoken to when times were harder.
"We thought 10 years ago there will be new treatments and better ways to help live with this, but we haven't got a cure and it breaks my heart," she said.
"The treatments, the loss of feeling like a man, the constant pain from a catheter pushing against a bladder wall that is almost non-existent, the sweats, flushes, mood changes, and not feeling self-worth is nothing short of devastating.
"Now Garry has the diagnosis of the hormone treatment not working anymore and 80 per cent chance of dying within four to five years. In this day and age, it's just not right. Good men do not need to die from this cancer."
Each year around 350 men in the local health district are diagnosed with cancer each year. The numbers rise to 16,700 men each year, and across the country about 3.152 men will die from the disease.
The new service is expected to be running in the early part of 2021.
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