Tuesday, 09 August 2011

A glimmer of hope

The Cancer post was written just over a month ago. Since then treatment has started. Apart from the treatment, I have encountered a lot of information about people making full recoveries from cancer.

The first glimmer of hope came about as a result of the chemotherapy. Apart from a feeling of total fatigue on day three, the side effects were minimal. More importantly, after only one treatment I was feeling much stronger.

Actually, the description of one treatment is not quite accurate. I had one "traditional" chemo treatment through an IV lasting about 3 hours. In addition, I have another "new generation" chemo therapy that I take in the form of a daily tablet. The traditional treatment attacks all fast acting cells in the body. The tablet targets only cancer cells. It attackes a specific form of protein that is found in malignant cells. It has few side effects. The main side effect is an extensive rash all over my body. It itches. It looks like achne.

The other ray of hope stems from what I have been reading. It seems that lots of people have cured themselves of cancer by maintaining a positive attitude, the will to live, relaxation, meditation and visualisations.

If others can do it, why not me?

Sunday, 07 August 2011


Everything was just fin on the morning of 1 June. It was my first day at a new job with one of the few companies that I would want to work. The company had planned three days of induction and the first was a lot of fun.

At about 10:00 p.m. I began to experience extreme pain in the upper abdomen. It was an enlarged spleen, possible with an infarction pressing against my left lung. The pain intensified and I was battling to breathe.

A voluntary medical rescue organization called Hatzollah put me on oxygen and got me to the hospital. My condition stabilized with the help of painkillers. Blood was taken and my chest x-rayed. The doctor on duty wanted to follow up on something from the blood tests. He suspected a possible clot on the lung.

I was sent home at 2:00 a.m. and asked to return at 6:30 for a CT scan of my chest. Several hours later, another doctor came to see me. There was no clot on the lung. “You have pneumonia,” he said. “1000 percent its pneumonia,” he continued. A massive prescription for penicillin and pain killers followed and I was sent home to recover.

Over the next few days, I lay in bed. I was very weak and able to eat only a mouthful to be able to take my medicines. By the 9th of June I had lost 4.5 kg. A visit to my GP revealed possible hepatitis.

More rest and an attempt to return to work followed. But now I began experiencing some pain in the right hand side of my abdomen and I was sent for an ultrasound scan of the entire area. A visit to a physician followed by a biopsy on some the lesions of the liver revealed malignant cells. It was cancer. The cancer originated in the pancreas and had spread to the liver.

The prognosis is poor. There is no cure. One in three respond to chemo. My chemotherapy will be starting on Friday. I hope that I will be amongst the one in three. I hope that I will be amongst the one in a million that survive longer than the one in three.