“I’M just very grateful this is here now.”
These words sum up the feelings of 47-year-old Catherine Richards, who will be the South West Regional Cancer Centre’s first radiotherapy patient.
The Warrnambool woman said it was ‘freaky’ her first treatment coincided with the centre’s opening.
She said the best part about it was she could remain at home for treatment, closer to her two children Jasmine, 10, and Samuel,13.
Mrs Richards has had a breast cancer removed and had reconstruction surgery in Melbourne, where she was in hospital for two weeks.
Without the new centre, Mrs Richards would have had to be in Melbourne or Geelong for radiotherapy during the week and travel home at weekends.
“Travel does get expensive. I go up and down to surgeon’s appointments. I suppose I’m pretty lucky I have a sister in Melbourne considering other people don’t probably have that (and would) have to pay accommodation.
“I’m lucky I haven't had to pay for accommodation as well.”
Instead Mrs Richards will visit the Warrnambool centre from Monday to Friday for the next five weeks from Monday.
“I can just come up the road. It’s easy now. I’ve just had my first appointment (on Monday) and now I’m ready to go for the treatment.”
“It’s going to be fantastic to only have half-an-hour taken out of your day.
“They said you’re only here 15 or 20 minutes and then you’re out, but even if you're travelling every day, you couldn't do that. You’d have to go up (to Melbourne or Geelong) for the week and come home at weekends.”
Mrs Richards will be able to continue to ferry her children to after-school activities.
“I’ll be able to be with the kids.
“It’s going to make a huge difference I think.”
RELATED:Centre puts us on the map
RELATED: Dream becomes a reality