Cancer patient Jeni Lee’s car has been broken into as she lies in a Brisbane hospital. It’s the latest in a string of misfortunes.
Cancer patient Jeni Lee’s car has been broken into as she lies in a Brisbane hospital. It’s the latest in a string of misfortunes. File

Facial cancer victim dealt blow

FACIAL cancer victim Jeni Lee has been struck another blow as she endures painful radiation and chemo therapy in Brisbane.

Earlier this month Jeni told how a rare sarcoma was eating away at her face and how she had been turned away from restaurants in Rockhampton and Yeppoon because of her confronting appearance.

Her story triggered an outpouring of sympathy and support and highlighted the issue of inadequate accommodation allowances for patients who have to travel to the big cities for cancer care that is not available in Central Queensland.

She's in the state capital for six weeks of treatment to slow down the tumour which has already disfigured her and will take her life.

And thieves have broken into her car while she lay in the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

Communicating by email she said: “My car was broken into and among the things that went was my St Christopher amulet which has been on the dashboard for the past 10 years.

“I am in so much pain. I have been prescribed with morphine to take which is not helping as my mouth is ulcerated and I can barely talk.”

She says she's losing weight at the rate of a kilo a day because she can't eat properly and she's worried that her sight is being compromised because a surgeon had to cut so close to her eye to remove the cancer.

But her fighting spirit is undiminished.

Despite the drugs and discomfort, Jeni took another shot at the system that forces the sickest people in society to go into debt to pay for travel and accommodation, some of which is refunded but in many cases after a long struggle.

“If Anna Bligh is so anxious to sell off assets she should immediately throw money into funding the radiation oncology and remedial services in Rockhampton.

“If I was in Rocky I wouldn't feel so bad. What makes it worse is that trying to get your expenses back, even after providing receipts and filling out forms, is a bit like hitting your head against a wall.”

Jeni is a supporter of the campaign to increase the accommodation allowance paid to patients by Queensland Health. The $30 a day allowance has not increased since 1987.

She's been told she can't expect to live for more than two years after the aggressive sarcoma was initially misdiagnosed and had caused too much damage before she got the correct treatment.

Jeni told how she effectively became a recluse at her home in Emu Park after incidents where waiters refused to serve her and children ridiculed her appearance.



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