RESILIENCE is only one of the words that can describe Andrew Godden.
After getting a rare form of melanoma on the lymph nodes of his right groin about 11 years ago, he underwent radical surgery to remove the offending glands.
But the surgery inadvertently made him worse. In 2002, Mr Godden developed lymphodema, a chronic disorder that stops the lymphatic system from working properly and causes swelling and pain.
His right leg began to balloon and the active life that he had once led came crashing down around him.
He was forced to wear heavy-duty compression gear to control the lymphodema, but the condition got so severe he had to have his leg amputated.
Although he tried to remain active in the first few years, it was hard for the Mount Waverley local, who had always been an avid golfer and gym junkie. Suddenly, he was plagued by pain and a lack of mobility and the things he once loved doing became a trial to accomplish.
That didn't get him down.
"The amount of swelling and pain in the leg meant that I didn't have that normal range of movement to either kneel or squat," he said.
"I had to look at things in a different way."
Mr Godden started to "re-engineer" his life. Instead of kneeling when he did his carpentry, he sat; instead of running, he walked.
"My exercise regime went from being active in a gym-type environment to focusing on walking or golf."
His attitude helped get his life back on track. "The lymphodema is something that is going to be ongoing. It causes the daily problems. For me, it's very much been about having a positive attitude and getting over those hurdles."
The 49-year-old encourages sufferers who are feeling down to reach out to someone.
"Often talking to someone else who's been through that is the best medicine.
"After that, I think it's then up to the individual to adopt a positive outlook."