Truckie's grim health warning: 'Check for your survival'
TONY Camilleri felt like he'd been slapped in the face when he heard the doctors telling him his prostate cancer had progressed to stage four.
That life-threatening diagnosis meant that he'd have to hang up the keys to his beloved Kenworth 6W - for good.
"You want to go out and end your career on your own merits, but the cancer is telling me I have to. As it stands, now it looks like it's all over for me," he said.
But the 65-year-old, who suffered from Hodgkin's lymphoma 20 years ago and has been a truckie for most of his working career, is determined to fight and will undergo more chemotherapy soon.
His own diagnosis might not be preventable, but he's hoping that sharing his story will encourage other men to go get themselves checked out.
He said he'd been having regular check ups with his doctor after beating the Hodgkin's lymphoma, but alarm bells started ringing for him one day when he went to the toilet and couldn't wee.
"After some tests we discovered it was prostate cancer. I'd been regularly getting checked out, but my doctor said they'd only been checking for the Hodgkin's."
He received his first diagnosis 12 months ago and has been through several bouts of chemotherapy since then, which slowed the cancer down, but not enough.
"It's been really full on," he said.
"It's a sneaky cancer.
"The problem with it is it sneaks up on you and when you find out you have it, it's too late.
"You've gotta check for your survival."
Throughout this challenging time in his life, Tony's friend Heath Johnson has been a huge support.
So much so that he helped organised a fundraiser for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, which raised more than $20,000.
Tony's brother, the singer Joe Camilleri, performed at the event as did Tony's niece Sarah Busuttil Palmer from Royal Hijinks.