Chris Recny was diagnosed with a glioblastoma at the age of 52. He was a healthy fit man, who was extremely intelligent and enjoyed life to the fullest. He had a highly successful career in Management Consulting, and a happy family; his wife Jane, and three wonderful children. They had moved to Australia from the UK thirteen years earlier, and if felt like they had landed in paradise.
Chris’ diagnosis came out of the blue. He had never taken a day off work for illness in his life, and that morning was getting ready for work, about to drive over the Harbour Bridge with his youngest daughter in the car. Suddenly he was “unable to use his right hand”.
An ambulance took him to the Royal North Shore Hospital. A 5- hour operation followed, and then a 10 day stay in hospital, and then multiple stints of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, plus physiotherapy and occupational therapy, re-teaching the skills of walking and writing.
When told by the doctors a few days after the operation that he had 3-5 years to live, his comment was firstly that he needed to see his youngest through High School, but then he said, “I suppose I have achieved more in my 52 years than many do in their lifetime”. Never did he show signs of anger and frustration throughout this period and he maintained a strong sense of humour and enjoyed family life, the only period in his adult life when he did not work.
He died 9 months after his initial diagnosis. In the last month his speech had become jumbled and his mobility was limited, but I believe he was still conscious of who he was and his family and friends around him.