There’s nothing like a drive into the countryside to blow the cobwebs away.
I was invited to talk to a cancer support group at Peterborough in South Australia’s mid north.
It’s a frightening statistic but if you contract cancer in the bush your chances of survival are 30% lower than in metropolitan areas.
There are numerous reasons, lack of medical facilities, shortage of information are two of them. But possibly the greatest problem is the isolation. Someone diagnosed with cancer requiring treatment usually has to relocate to the city for extended periods. If having cancer isn’t enough the thought of having to leave the family for treatment can be quite traumatic.
Cancer – What Now? deals with those issues so when I got the call about giving a talk in the mid north I was only too happy to go.
I’d just finished talking to a Probus group at Wynn Vale and headed north.
Leaving the built up areas I was immediately taken by how green it was. Little sign of the drought conditions that have plagued our state.
I arrived in Peterborough after driving through the beautiful Clare Valley, resisting the temptation to stop to sample some of the regions wonderful wines (that’s for another trip).
I was welcomed to the town with typical rural hospitality, they couldn’t have been more friendly or generous. They put me up in a B and B at the back of a beautiful old church that had been converted into a motorcycle museum. Look it up if your ever in the area.
I gave my talk to about one hundred people from the region, many were cancer survivors, other carers and families and friends. They were a very generous audience and we had a lot of laughs. Cancer shouldn’t always be taken seriously.
The following morning I was taken to Steamtown, a museum of Australia’s rich rail history. If you go to Steamtown allow half a day, there’s so much to see.
Peterborough was once the rail hub of the nation. Its greatest claim to fame is that it is one of only two places in Australia (the other is Gladstone) where three railway gauges met It no longer is a rail centre but has become a service centre for the surrounding districts.
I have some lovely memories of my visit to the mid-north, next time I’ll take the wife and stay a bit longer