13 December 2022
Peter Ham is the new President of the Moreton Bay Regional Prostate Cancer Support Group and credits the group for getting him through his hardest days after his own diagnosis. Now, he’s committed to giving back and ensuring other men have the same support.
Read Peter’s story here, as told by him:
“It was November 2013 and following my yearly blood test, my GP called to tell me that my PSA had risen from 1.3 to 2.5 in the past twelve months. She discussed this finding with her colleagues and suggested I be referred to a urologist. Even though the PSA reading was quite small, it had almost doubled in the last year, a matter of concern.
After a digital examination, the urologist recommended either a biopsy or another PSA test in three months. I decided to go the biopsy route and it turned out to be a Gleason 3+4 which even surprised my urologist. He gave me the option of radical prostatectomy, or robotic (which he did not do at that stage) or radiation. He also suggested I attend the local prostate cancer support group for more information and support – and it turned out to be a very positive choice.
I first attended a meeting with my wife, Joy. That evening, the Redcliffe Hospital Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse gave a presentation of ED and Incontinence. We left the meeting shocked, to say the least.
I subsequently had open surgery at Redcliffe Hospital. The following pathology report showed I had an aggressive cancer (stage 3). It was on the edge of the prostate and near my bladder. Had I elected to wait, it might well have moved into my bladder. My urologist continues to monitor my PSA every six months.
The support that I received from the Moreton Bay Regional Prostate Cancer Support Group (MBRPCSG) helped me overcome the well- known anxiety and depression during the time of my diagnosis and treatment. In time, I took on the position of treasurer and managed fundraising activities, including regular Bunnings sausage sizzles. Covid forced the loss of the sausage sizzle fundraising. However, it's an ill wind that blows no good and the group, in conjunction with the Urology department at Redcliffe Hospital, started an annual fun run; the primary source of the group's income for the past three years.
Now, in the dual role of group president and treasurer, I have overseen the incorporation of the group. I applied for and obtained an ABN and Not for Profit status, which has been of great assistance in obtaining donations and sponsorships.
With a well-structured committee, our strong financial position has enabled the group to contribute to PCFA’s Giving Day where all donations were doubled, and The Long Run. Importantly, it is the public awareness of the group and the response it has drawn from the local community that is so highly valued by our group.
We place great emphasis on involving the wives and partners of our members too. My wife Joy and the ladies' auxiliary manage the social events including pre-meeting refreshments, tea and coffee mornings, picnics and other outings. It is a very active social calendar, supported and appreciated by everyone.
I have made so many friends and enjoyed so many good times within our group. I am clearly one of the lucky men who have made this journey and as the newly elected group leader of MBRPCSG, it is my turn to give back to men who are facing a prostate cancer diagnosis.”
For more information about the Moreton Bay Regional Prostate Cancer Support Group click here.