- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
How I Lost 34 years of marraige and beat Cancer
How I lost 34 years of marraige and tamed Cancer
Around ten or so years ago my life starting changing in small but dramatic increments.
I was about to go on a trip to the USA to visit various Newspapers as well as Software and hardware manufactures ending up in Las Vegas at Comdex.
The morning I was due to go I was showering and discovered a walnut sized lump under my left shoulder near my armpit. I was not unduly alarmed as I had previously had lymphomas which had been removed. My mother too was prone to growing these harmless lumps which were simply fat trapped in a cell.
As I was due to fly that night, I made a mental note to to worry about his later, and duly went on my trip. Before leaving my father phoned to say goodbye and have a good trip. This was out of character, as he was somewhat deaf, he did not as a rule speak on the phone.
Three days later while in Orlando Florida , I came back from my morning run, saw that the light was flashing on the room phone, and called the lobby. I was told by the hotel reception that I had a message from my wife. This was unusual, as she never contacted me on business trips, as I generally phone her on arrival at each port of call.
I called home to be told that my father had passed away. I hastily changed my travel plans returned home, arranged the funeral, as well as arranged to move my mother from the coast, to be nearer to my home in Johannesburg. Then taking advantage of the time difference, flew back to meet my colleagues in Las Vegas.
Change in Job
The trip proceeded without incident and I returned home. Unbeknown to me whilst I was away my colleaguesplotted with my boss to remove me from a 10 year long consultancy and move all development that I was doing in-house!
So after a comfortable sojourn with that company, I had to do some marketing and find some new opportunities. This was duly done without too much drama.
In the mean time the lump under my arm was slowly increasing in size. I had it checked out but because of my history, I was told as long as it ';wobbles' it's fine. So being a busy man i ignored it and it got larger
Time went by and one morning My then wife and I got the most horrific phone call. My 26 year old son had been killed in a car crash. This was a really traumatic event.
About 6 to eight months later, my ex and I were sleeping when we were awakened by armed gunmen in our bedroorm. they had removed the window glass from the living room, after doping our rather vicious mastiff,/ bull terrier mixed breed dog.
They terrorised us for about 3 hours as they looted the house and threatened us repeatedly. They ripped out the phone , tied us up and locked us in our bedroom. Eventually, they took my new SUV, loaded it up with TV's, VCR, Hi Fi, Computers and left. We freed ourselves and I managed to connect the phone with a modem cable. I phoned my oldest son and the police. Fearing that the bandits would come back we hid in the bathroom. when the police arrived, we were terrified thinking that the robbers had come back! They had to break down the door to get to us.
Life in the Country
In the mean time the lump grew. My kids started referring to it as "mini-me".It was now the size of a small football!
My ex and I now decided to sell the house. Buy a farm in a small growing tourist town in Mpulangha (about 350 kms from Johannesburg) and go into semi retirement living off the land. The kids thought we were mad. We felt that this was right for us. for the first 6 months we lived off my investments and I did repairs to the house and farm.
My ex then suggested that i should return to consulting to bring in an income until the farm became self sustaining. I agreed to commute back to Johannesburg during the week and live at my club, returning home on weekends only. Silly mistake, after 34 years of marraige, I had no qualms about leaving my wife to her own devices during the week and we became fairly entrenched in the small community. She unfortunately developed an attachment to the neighboring farmer and, as as the saying goes, the rest is history.
911 happened live on television! A shocking and traumatic event. My ex phoned and asked if I had access to a television and I did..
Against the backdrop of he aftermath of 911, I was alone living in the Club, the divorce had begun and Christmas was coming.Some friends invited me to join them at a Christmas brass band and carolling event at the club. At first I declined but said, jokingly, that I would join if hey could find a businesswoman, an artist, and a really sexy woman, all for me. They delivered and i met my dearly beloved for the first time (I won't say which one she was!). She had left her glasses at home and we shared mine to read the words of the carols. We courted over that Christmas period and I drove her (in her new car) to PE for her holidays. I then flew back to the club in Johannesburg.She continued her holday I stayed in Johannesburg and was relieved of my wallet, credit cards and driving licence on eveing in a local hostelry. After her holidays I flew back to bring her home.
She then persuaded me to have "mini me" removed.
I had the operation to have the lump removed and she took care of me.
On returning to the surgeon, he advised that the lump was cancerous. It was a Lymphoma carcinoma, which is extremely rare. He advised radiation.
I saw the radiololgist, but he simply me "I am a technician" and that he would damage my skin, my liver and possibly some internal organs and that chemo was not an option. I then saw another surgeon for a prognosis, he said he would operate again and remove more tissue but as he had not done the original operation, he was reluctant and would still advise radiation "to protect himself".
I then went back to the original surgeon, who advised me that he was a "bloody godd surgeon" and was sure he got it all. My researches then suggested that as the cancer was encapsuled inside a lymphoma if it (the cancer) returned, it would probably be in the same form. I was told it is much like a "bean bag" if the whole bag is removed then none of the polystyrene beads would fall out. However, if the bag was nicked, each little ball that fell out ,could grow again, much like Hamsters when they get cancer. But, If I had had radiotherapy, it would not be possible to operate in that area, as the tissue would be destroyed and a clean cut could not be made.
Armed with the facts I called a council of my children and My dearly beloved's children and asked for advice. After accepting their input, we decided not to go ahead with Radiotherapy.
Barleygreen ,vitamin supplements, exercise and diet change (i lost 15-20kgs) were the order of the day. I remarried and six years later I am still cancer free.
As a footnote I believe that couples who undergo traumatic events often end up divorced as i believe that our "reptile brain" has a deep seated belief that the man should protect the women and the women in turn expect that protection. Even though logic dictates that I did the best in the circumstances during the robbery, this animal brain kicks in leading to the inevitable split. We did not have any therapy or counseling.