’SHE LOVED SHOPPING’: Kevin Allen finds it ‘too hard’ to come into town as Kingaroy is still full of memories of his late wife Linda. (Photo: Jessica McGrath)
’SHE LOVED SHOPPING’: Kevin Allen finds it ‘too hard’ to come into town as Kingaroy is still full of memories of his late wife Linda. (Photo: Jessica McGrath)

Husband’s one wish after losing wife to cancer

KEVIN Allen's world shattered when he lost his wife Linda to lung cancer 12 months ago.

But, he hopes the cancer journey for others will be different one day.

Cancer Council Australia is currently conducting an enquiry into the prospects, process and delivery of a National Lung Cancer Screening Program in Australia.

"It's got to make a difference," Kevin said.

The Memerambi resident said sharing his story had helped him deal with his grief.

"I've been talking to other people fighting through the cancer to help others," he said.

Kevin urges those impacted by the cancer to share their story with the Cancer Council enquiry, who are holding a public consultation from December 2019 to February 2020.

"Share your story if you've got complaints, don't live with those regrets," he said.

CANCER BATTLE: Kevin Allen sits in his late wife's favourite spot in their home as he shares about Linda's passion for helping others. (Photo: Jessica McGrath)
CANCER BATTLE: Kevin Allen sits in his late wife's favourite spot in their home as he shares about Linda's passion for helping others. (Photo: Jessica McGrath)

Kevin rarely goes into town anymore as Kingaroy is filled with memories of his late wife who loved to browse through the shops.

"It's bloody hard, we were very close," he said.

"It's something you never get over.

"You make plans with someone and suddenly they're gone."

It is now 12 months since Linda Allen passed away on December 11, after she was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in June, 2018.

It was not until five months after the diagnosis that further tests revealed the cancer had spread to her brain.

Kevin thinks if the spread of the cancer to the brain had been detected sooner, he would have had 'more time' with his wife.

"I'd like to think if she'd started with a full body scan, she might've lived a bit longer, we could've found it sooner, but we can only assume," he said.

Kevin Allen with his late wife Linda who passed away on December 11, 2018 after her battle with lung cancer. (Photo: Contributed)
Kevin Allen with his late wife Linda who passed away on December 11, 2018 after her battle with lung cancer. (Photo: Contributed)

Linda, who was 63 when she died, was doing well after chemotherapy when she became ill again.

An MRI revealed she had 10 tumours in her brain, and she died l1 days after arriving home in Kingaroy from the hospital.

"If you don't look you don't know, it was hard to think she was doing so well," Kevin said.

"Cancer is a killer - it's not something you muck around with when you're dealing with lives."

According to the Cancer Council, early diagnosis of lung cancer is critical to improve outcomes, with more than half of cases being diagnosed at an advanced stage.

"It is not a disease that is easily detected," Kevin said.

Lung cancer accounts for 8.9 per cent of all new cancer cases diagnosed in 2019 and is the leading cause of cancer death in Australia.

It accounts for 18.9 per cent of all cancer deaths and has a five-year survival rate of 17 per cent.

Kevin said he would like to see the enquiry establish regular screening for lung cancer like is done for breast cancer or prostate cancer.

Cancer Council Australia will submit the Lung Cancer Screening enquiry report to Minister for Health Greg Hunt in October 2020.

For mor information about the inquiry, or to have your say, visit https://canceraustralia.gov.au/about-us/lung-cancer-screening-enquiry or email the inquiry directly at lungcancerscreening@canceraustralia.gov.au.