A 3.8 kilometre walk may not seem very far but when chemotherapy damages the nerves in your feet, you feel every step and Warrnambool's Bob McMillan knows just how much each one counts.
He was joined by about 115 other people on Sunday for the inaugural "3.8 With a Mate" walk along the foreshore to raise funds for the incurable blood cancer myeloma.
Mr McMillan has been living with myeloma for seven years, but he said he was "one of the lucky ones".
When he was about two thirds to three quarters of the way through six months of weekly chemo treatment when he went into remission.
Bloods taken every three months show he is still in remission. "I'm one of the lucky ones," he said.
But he said it was confronting when he was first diagnosed because he was told the medium life span back then was two to three years between diagnosis and death, although some did live 10 years and longer.
Myeloma, he said, was often diagnosed because the tumors make bones so brittle they break easily. But that wasn't the case with Mr McMillan.
"I've got heart failure, and my doctor was monitoring my bloods and he found that I was getting anemic," he said.
After being referred to an oncologist, a bone marrow biopsy from his spine confirmed the diagnosis.
Mr McMillan said he had been born with a hole in his heart, something that was operated on "a long time ago" and he was now onto his third pacemaker.
"I have no underlying heartbeat anymore. I'm totally reliant on my pacemaker," he said.
"After five years the battery starts to run down and they put another one in. It's amazing what they can do."
Mr McMillan said his was a "good story", because he was living a good life despite his diagnosis.
"I don't have any treatment at this stage for the myeloma," he said.
Although he still suffers from the after-effects of chemo. "When you walked back to your car after chemotherapy, you thought you were walking backwards, or wading through a bit of quick sand," he said.
"It's poison. It drops to the bottom of your feet through your body and it damages all the nerve ends, so the bottom of my feet are still impacted."
So Sunday's 3.8-kilometre event was not exactly a walk in the park. "My feet do give me a fair bit of grief at times," he said.
Despite his health battles, the community stalwart - who has played key roles in the Wunta Fiesta, getting AquaZone up and running and the gala ball fundraiser for the cancer centre - hasn't lost his sense of humour.
"I still say, 'thank God I've got my health'," he said.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Now just one tap with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the convenience of faster news, right at your fingertips with The Standard:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.