It’s been a tough 18 months for Jono Coleman, as he secretly battled cancer before getting the news he’d been desperately waiting for in time for Christmas in 2017 – he was finally in remission.
Now, reflecting on the terrifying time, the Studio 10 star has shared his powerful New Year’s resolution for 2019 in an exclusive chat with Starts at 60 – and it’s inspired by his friend and colleague Barry DuBois, who is still bravely battling cancer himself.
“I think my resolution is to have lots of fun times with my family and all just enjoy the time we have, however long that is in the eyes of the big guy up in the sky,” he said.
“My resolution is just to enjoy every day as it comes, like Baz DuBois does. Like millions of other Australians do, like people who are suffering from disease… You live on and there’s always someone else who’s got it a lot worse than you have.”
The much-loved Aussie TV and radio star joked he hopes it will mean he remembers to write down the correct year on cheques and documents, as he often forgets how fast time is passing and he accidentally still notes down 2016 or even 2014.
A year ago I was having chemo at St Vincents Kinghorn Centre now I’m 99 percent better. I will always be positive about licking prostate cancer. And will. Make sure you get your PSA checked regularly and get a digital check also if need be. They found mine early. Makes all the difference. X. So pull ya finger out if you’re over 40 or 50.Cheers jolly Jono. Cancer Survivor. X
“For me, it’s that feeling of – it’s a brand new day, it’s sunny and beautiful outside, we’re lucky that we’re not living 50 years ago or through a world war. It’s a question of, let’s enjoy our lives and hopefully the stupid idiots that run our countries don’t ruin our lives,” he added.
“So my resolution is live long and prosper and just enjoy everything.”
The 62-year-old left his Studio 10 co-stars in tears in July when he revealed he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer the year before – but chose to keep it to himself at the time so he could continue working.
He underwent courses of radiotherapy and chemotherapy shorty after his initial diagnosis, before finally going into remission in time for Christmas 2017.
One of his biggest inspirations has been his Network Ten co-star Barry, who announced that he had been diagnosed with plasmacytoma myeloma, cancer of the immune system, in 2017 during an emotional episode of The Living Room. Sadly, the disease is terminal.
Asked how he’s doing at the moment, Jono said: “He’s surprisingly fantastic. He was in a really, potentially dangerous position when his cancer came back and it was through his body. But I see Baz all the time now and he’s doing so well.
“You’ve got to keep your humour and enjoy yourself, which he’s doing.”
Jono admitted Barry’s cancer returning was a huge scare for him too, and prompted him to pay extra attention to his own follow-up treatments after getting his all-clear – all too aware that stopping them could mean his cancer returns in future.
“When you’re a cancer survivor, it’s continual maintenance – without being paranoid,” Jono added.
“He [Barry] has been having blood transfusions and treatments constantly, but he’s looking fantastic and has really bounced back. These days with the amount of trial drugs that go on, it’s just amazing.
“That’s the thing with all these cancers, we’re living in a very lucky age. There is no cure for cancer, you can be free of it but it can then sneak back two years or five years later.”
Jono recently reunited with his former radio co-star Russ, two decades after their hit Virgin Radio Breakfast show together. The pair are now working on a new radio show in the UK, with Jono based in Sydney while Russ works from England, and they’re busy recording podcasts already for their dedicated fans. Have a listen to them in action here.