You’ve just been told you have 18 months to live.
Let it sink in.
It’s nine days until Christmas and your world has been shaken to its core.
How would you feel.
For Scott Dureau, this was his reality.
A father of two, Dureau was trying to deal with the reality of not seeing his children grow up.
He’d travelled to Sydney for a full body scan and met with the news that his liver was infected.
For six years Dureau has battled and beaten cancer.
But on this day, it’s back and the outlook is bleak.
“That day was probably the worst day of my life. I can easily say that,” Dureau said.
“No one really knows this, but on that day, the oncologist basically said the tumours in my liver were incurable and best case I had 18-months to two years to live.
TO SUPPORT SCOTT AND HIS FAMILY, THE MEN OF LEAGUE FOUNDATION IS HOSTING SCOTT’S NIGHT OF KNIGHTS ON FRIDAY 5 APRIL 2019. SUPPORTED BY THE NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS, THIS FUNDRAISING EVENT WILL RAISE MUCH NEEDED FUNDS FOR THE DUREAU FAMILY.
“Thankfully since then, I’ve had some other opinions and saw a specialist who can operate. To say that Christmas period was pretty tough would be an understatement.”
To properly tell Dureau’s story, we need to go back to early 2013.
The former Newcastle Knights halfback was carving out a successful Super League career in France when he started suffering regular headaches.
Coming off an incredible year where he was awarded the Albert Goldthorpe Medal, named in the English Exiles representative side and named in the Super League Dream Team, Dureau put it down to fatigue.
But as it got worse, he started to think he may need glasses, so he booked an appointment with the optometrist.
It was during this visit that a shadow at the back of his eye was discovered and CT scan thereafter revealed a brain tumour behind his eye.
The operation was a success and Dureau continued with his career.
Dureau retired from the game in 2015 after four seasons with the Knights, five with Catalans Dragons and six months on loan to the Sydney Roosters.
Having hung up the boots, the former No.7 returned to Newcastle and started working for Nathan Brown at the Knights.
Helping out with the halves before working on the junior pathways program, Dureau would still go for routine head checks.
So, when he made the trip to Sydney late last year, Dureau was caught off-guard.
“I was having yearly checks since 2013,” he explained.
“I had a scan in the morning and then saw doctor Charlie Teo straight after the scan
“He brings up the scan on his computer and it was pretty plain to see.
“It was there in full sight. Charlie tuned around and said; ‘sorry mate, we’ve had a recurrence, it’s come back’.
“It took a little over eight hours to clean up. Without him, I’m not sure where I’d be, to be honest.”
It was a dark day.
“Dad came with me,” he said.
“My wife was at home looking after my two young girls.
“When we say it, Charlie told us, I broke down.
“It was pretty tough. Telling your loved ones, I can handle it myself, but with my wife, parents and brother, it’s pretty challenging.”
After a full day on the operating table, the tumour was removed.
Remarkably, Dureau only had two weeks off work before returning to training.
In good spirits, he had another check-up in Sydney.
It was during this trip that his world was tip upside down.
“I was pretty keen to come back (to work). I think I needed the distraction,” he explained.
“I came back and on the 17th of December, we found out that it had spread to my liver.
“We were unaware of that until they sent me for full body test because the type of tumours I’ve had can spread and are fast growing.
“We found out a week before Christmas it had spread pretty thick and fast through my liver. It was a pretty bitter pill to swallow.”
But Dureau is a fighter.
He’s started chemotherapy and still working fulltime.
He assists with the NRL side, works with the pathways program and coaches the 20s side.
While he’s experienced a handful of side effects from the treatment, he’s been relatively lucky that not much has changed.
“I feel really good,” he said.
“I’ve had four hits of chemo. I generally react the same each time. I haven’t really had too much fatigue. Generally, the first two days I have a little reflux, a bit of an upset stomach but nothing too major.
“I’m very lucky and very thankful.”
On Friday, the Men of League Foundation will host a gala dinner at NEX to raise funds for him and his family.
In large turnout is expected with the likes of Roosters coach Trent Robinson, Knights coach Nathan Brown and league legend Matty Johns in attendance to support their mate.
The support he’s received from the rugby league community as a whole has been enormous.
“The only way I can repay that is, I’m going to fight as hard as I can,” he said.
“I know I’m strong enough to do that and that’s what I’m going to do.”