SURVIVORS: Garry Edwards recuperating with his father Keith in Belmont. – Picture by Natalie GronoSWANSEA MP Garry Edwards says he is reassessing his life and wants to make sure he is around to see his grandchildren grow up.

As reported last month, Mr Edwards is recovering from an operation to remove a cancerous lung.

‘‘I’ve had to very quickly re-evaluate my whole being,’’ Mr Edwards, 61, said. ‘‘I realise I’m not bullet-proof.’’

Mr Edwards said he would have to make changes to his lifestyle to achieve goals he had set.

‘‘I want to be around to see my grandchildren grow up,’’ he said.

He is recuperating in Belmont, where he is staying with his wife Patria and parents, Keith and Betty.

He said his father, aged 86, was an inspiration.

‘‘He’s survived two heart-bypass surgeries,’’ he said.

‘‘He survived some near misses in the Pacific while in the navy during World War II, including kamikaze attacks. He’s watching his great grandchildren grow up and I’d love to be able to do that too.’’

Mr Edwards, also a Lake Macquarie councillor, said his experience had given him greater empathy.

‘‘It has given me a much greater appreciation of what people, who come to see me with their own dilemmas, are going through.’’

Mr Edwards was grateful for the support and encouragement he had received from family, friends, parliamentary colleagues and residents.

‘‘It’s been touching to see the response from the community, given I’ve been in the seat such a short time,’’ he said.

His electorate office was operating as normal.

‘‘I encourage people to continue to contact my staff for assistance on local issues,’’ he said. “I look forward to getting back to work as quickly as possible.’’

He wished everyone a happy and safe Christmas nd New Year.

Mr Edwards, a Liberal Party member, was elected to Parliament in March, after defeating former Labor MP Robert Coombs by fewer than 1000 votes.

He has served as a councillor since being elected in September 2008.