Liberal senator Arthur Sinodinos is still trying to get his head around not having the bone marrow he was born with.
The former Turnbull government minister returned to parliament this week, 17 months after the bombshell cancer diagnosis that changed his life.
His career was put on hold while he took up the full-time job of battling stage four non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
"Frankly I'm grateful, relieved, overjoyed to be able to say I'm in survivorship," he told senators on Wednesday.
Senator Sinodinos's second chance at life came from the other side of the world, with a donor enabling a life-saving bone marrow transplant.
"The vital storehouse that produces my red blood cells and gives me my whole new blood type is the gift of a young German man whom I may never know but I owe my life to," Senator Sinodinos said.
The last speech he gave as industry, innovation and science minister was on September 19, 2017, a day before being rocked by his diagnosis.
Now he's embracing a second chance at life.
"I've concluded that a lot of things in life are just random, cancer among them," the NSW senator said.
"Good stuff happens. Bad stuff happens. What I think matters is the journey and with cancer it's the transformation it compels in every layer of it."
Filled with optimism after walking in the shoes of hundreds of thousands of Australians who grapple with the devastating disease, Senator Sinodinos said he wanted to do more to ramp up efforts to fight cancer.