Do you ever have those day where you feel like you just can’t be arsed? Those days where your energy levels are low, your body hurts and getting out of bed is a bloody mission!
Mike Walker has felt like that every day for the past 12 months! In his words “taken to the brink of death” in order to kill the cancer that was taking over his body.
In October last year, Mike was diagnosed with cancer and had his world turned upside down!
Mike is a proud, humble family man. A beautiful supportive wife named Zoe and 3 kids that he needed to fight for. Right from the minute the doctors told him that he had cancer taking over his body he got his head space right and went into survival mode. 35 radiation and 3 chemo treatments later, Mike is back into training, building muscle again and loving every moment of life…What he calls, “Bonus time”!
We recently caught up with this Shake UP legend to talk about what it takes to overcome a life threatening disease and come out the other side smiling….
So Mike…Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Yep, I am 45 years old. I have an amazing family, my wife Zoe and 3 kids who are 23, 14 and 11.
I have lived in Pacific Pines for the past 5 years. We are a very sporty family, AFL, Netball and just being active.
Can you please give us an idea of how the past 12 months have been?
I was diagnosed with cancer in October last year and have been on a bloody roller coaster ever since! In December I began treatment that went through until February this year and all up involved 35 radiation and 3 chemotherapy treatments. It was like a living nightmare mate! I was death warmed up…I couldn’t eat or drink and my weight went from 97kgs – 74 kgs.
I couldn’t taste foods. I was tied all the time, dehydrated, blacked out getting out of bed…I thought I was dying. I said to the doctors, “I think you are trying to kill me”…and they were…. taking me to the brink of death so that they could kill the cancer.
In June this year, unfortunately after all that there was a little bit of residue left in my throat so I had to have surgery to remove it. They cut a few tendons and veins out of my neck so I am a little weak now in the shoulder.
I reckon you have probably learnt a few lesion in mental resilience?
Yeah mate… I am not scared….I am on bonus time man. If I look at these last 12 months I know that everything is just a massive bonus…Get out and enjoy it, why sit at home and watch the world go by. I am trying to be a role model for my family and kids and to teach them that life is precious and to enjoy every minute of it.
What got you back into this training environment?
Life has been on pause – I love being active and I really couldn’t wait to be back strong enough to get back into this!
I knew I needed to get moving again, I knew I needed to be back in this environment at the Shake UP. Before the cancer hit I was feeling strong, the best condition of my life for a long time then all this shit happened. I knew getting back into training was going to hurt…and it did. The 1st couple of weeks killed me. But I came back! Training is getting easier, we played outdoor netball last night and felt the best I have in ages. Even today in the session I was feeling strong. I have put on 6 kg’s in the last few months and am putting on some muscle mass again. Life is great Benny!
What a bloody legend! Positive, humble, resilient and happy to be alive! Mike is our September Shaker of the month and we are delighted to celebrate his victory with him.
A huge thanks to our amazing sponsor Zarraffas Pacific Pines for the continued support to our community and to legends like Mike Walker!
Shake on healthy people!