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Real Stories

Life After Cancer: Adry’s Story

Adry shares what life looks like now and how the cancer journey shaped his life.

Adry is now celebrating 10 years of being cancer free. From diagnosis, to finally being told he is in remission, Adry’s cancer experience along with the support from his family and Redkite has brought him a long way. In his final year of high school, Adry was a top performing student, school captain and all-round high achiever.

He was focused on sitting the HSC, performing well, going to university, and planning what life would look like after year 12. In the lead up to mid-term exams, Adry experienced months of pain and lethargy which he put down to the stress of school. Adry then discovered a lump in his testicles.

After going through various tests and the stress of not knowing what the future held, Adry was given the devastating diagnosis of testicular cancer. He was immediately worried about how it would affect his ability to sit his exams. Things were a lot worse than Adry had expected and it started to shift his mentality and outlook on life.

The identity that he had spent so much time working towards, had changed suddenly and it was tough for Adryto accept. He went in for emergency surgery 10 days after his diagnosis, followed by chemotherapy, hoping it would ensure that the cancer never came back. Unfortunately, later that same year, Adry’s check-up results showed the cancer had spread.

The devastating news meant that Adry needed six weeks of intense radiotherapy, which he recalls as being one of the most difficult experiences of his life.

“I lost 10 kilos within six weeks. On the nights that I would come back from my radiotherapy session, I would be delirious, suffering from nausea, aches and pains, feeling lethargic and irritable and my appetite was impacted significantly so I wasn’t eating a lot.”

During his recovery, Adry didn’t have the physical or the mental energy to see or speak to anybody and completely shut himself off from his social network. He recalls not wanting to face the questions about his cancer. “I went to an all-boys school, so the idea of telling somebody that of all the cancers, I’ve got testicular cancer, I felt there was a certain level of stigma attached and there was a bit of embarrassment there too.”

Looking back, Adry describes his parents as the most exceptional people he knows. “My mum was my security blanket, she was the rock of the family. She was the one who was by my side holding me up as I would walk into the radiotherapy room, giving me that emotional support I needed. My dad was a typical male stereotype, putting on a strong front, however, the cancer experience really redefined how he approached his relationship with me as his eldest son, he started showing bits of his vulnerability and how the cancer was impacting him.”

His brother, although younger, matured significantly during Adry’s cancer experience. “It’s in his nature to see the humour and the positives in a negative situation. When he wasn’t at school, he would be at my appointments. At home, he would care for me, helping me walk around the house,after surgery and giving me my meds.”
Adry had to take a gap year between his last year of high school and university, due to the effects the treatment had on his mental and physical health. It was then Adry was referred to Redkite by his youth cancer services team at Prince of Wales Hospital.

He received support from the Redkite education and career support counsellors, so he could explore potential career paths. Redkite helped Adry refine his focus and gave him the knowledge and skills he needed to make his decisions for his future. Adry chose a path in media and communications and is today working in alumni relations at the University of New South Wales, dealing with the global alumni community across all events, volunteer, mentoring, and lifelong learning programs.

“I feel like I am living my best life right now. When I was placed in remission, I made the conscious decision to only commit my time and energy to causes that I felt deeply connected to, and could impact the community in the most positive way.”

Today, Adry credits his success and well-rounded life to the support he received from Redkite. From providing educational resources, career advice and financial support, Redkite was there to help him recover from his cancer experience. “Redkite showed me, the value of connecting with other people who have been through experiences similar to mine. They have really shaped the person that I am today. Without Redkite, my life would not have been as rich and fulfilling as it is now.”

“This 10-year cancer-versary, as I’ve been very fond of calling it, is a celebration of my gp’s, Oncologists, Redkite career counsellors and support teams, and friends and family who helped me navigate the most challenging of times. I wouldn’t be where I am today
without them”.

As Adry started getting healthier, he felt it was important to give back by becoming involved in ambassador and volunteering opportunities. Redkite is proud to have Adry as an ambassador.

“I can attest to how beneficial the support Redkite provides is, to a young person with cancer and their family. Redkite allows them to rediscover the courage, strength and tenacity they already have inside. Redkite allows them to renew their sense of spirit and their sense of themselves in their new lives and more than anything, allows them to recover from the whole scope of challenges that cancer brings.”

There is life after cancer. Adry is proof of that, living his best life, one day at a time.

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