Tom?s sick of being sick

By Leigh Pritchard

After 10 months of treatment, Grafton teenager Tom Hay finds it hard to believe his chemotherapy will finally end on Monday.

The 17-year-old was diagnosed with a tumor in his kidney after he was taken to Grafton Base Hospital in July with 'a sharp, debilitating pain'.

"At first I didn't believe I had cancer, even when I was getting the first round of radiation, I could not believe it," he said.

Tom said the worst part of cancer was how it affected his family and friends, including parents Cate Wilson and Jeff Masters and sisters Melanie, Cassie and Nikki.

Since July he has had his left kidney removed, five weeks of radiation therapy and 14 cycles of chemotherapy.

Mrs Wilson said Tom was forced to leave South Grafton High School because of the illness.

"He tried to go back to school on the first day this year but he was just not well enough," she said.

Even after his treatment is finished, Tom will continue to have regular tests. But now he feels better, Mrs Wilson said Tom 'just wants to get out there and do something'.

Recently he got his licence, a car from his grandparents and started body-boarding again.

Tom said he has learnt to have patience and be more tolerant.

"It is great, I feel like there is nothing I can't do. It was a bad experience but I feel like a better person because of it."

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