Will McDonald, 42, battling fast-spreading prostate cancer.
“I’d started going through the ‘why me’ conversation with myself, but by the time I’d gotten home, I’d come to the realisation of ‘why not me’.”
Channel 9 news presenter Will McDonald was in shock the day he was given a life-changing prostate cancer diagnosis at only 42 years old.
What he thought was a hip injury from his active gym-going lifestyle, was in fact a fast-spreading cancer which had already gone from his prostate to his hip.
He had no other symptoms.
“I went into the GP’s office to get my MRI results and I was expecting to find a chipped bone, torn cartilage, maybe a bit of early onset arthritis,” he recalled.
“I can’t exactly remember the words that came out of the doctor’s mouth but she kind of showed me the report and scan and said ‘these white spots here, they think are cancer’.
“It kind of overwhelms you quite quickly. A lot of emotions very quickly go through your mind.”
Prostate cancer treatments
What followed next was a whirlwind of appointments, tests, specialists, medication and treatments. Will is now on hormone therapy to stop the cancer from growing and has undergone chemotherapy to kill the cancer cells.
And he has continued to work throughout his journey, anchoring Channel 9 Adelaide’s 6pm news bulletin on weekends and the network’s 5pm news from Monday to Wednesday.
“You hear a lot of bad stories about chemotherapy and rightly so, because it’s a nasty drug that will kill the cancer but also make you sick as well. But it was what I had to do so I went, ok, let’s just plough into this as best we possibly can,” Will said.
“I made a decision really early on to be positive and strong, and luckily the people closest to me have fed off this positivity and strength and that’s been really important for me.”
Being positive with cancer
Early in Will’s journey, he was given frank news about his diagnosis: it is incurable. He would only ever be in remission. But his positivity wasn’t about to accept that outlook; and with medical research, he knows he has hope.
He recently visited Adelaide’s Centre for Cancer Biology which is progressing world-leading cancer research with support from The Hospital Research Foundation Group’s donors and lottery ticket buyers.
“We know with medical research that things can change really quickly, even just the other week on the news we had a story about a new drug for prostate cancer,” Will said.
“There’s always a next step, a next development, and I find it quite amazing that people are literally working on things here in Adelaide that will keep me alive.”
Look after your health!
In speaking out about his cancer diagnosis, Will hoped to help take the fear away from getting a health check for the many men (and women) who say they are too busy.
“I just think it’s so important that you prioritise your health. Don’t be scared of going to the doctor and asking a question about whether I need a prostate test, a cholesterol test, or a heart check, or what’s this mole doing on my arm.
“Because I’ll be honest with you, when you get a diagnosis like this one, you always wished you prioritised it a little more. And you can’t go back, so start now.”
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