Cancer

Not something you want to be diagnosed with…

I remember the day I was diagnosed, I had seen a urologist due to bladder problems. The ultrasound showed masses of growths in my bladder. I then underwent an operation to remove them and clear the bladder. I now sat in his office waiting to hear the results of the pathology report. The word ‘malignant’ rolled out his mouth and hit me harder then a bullet to an egg shell. I was devastated! 25 years old at the time and I had just been told I had a disease that is known to kill. I honestly didn’t know how to react. What ensued was operation after operation, chemotherapy after chemotherapy. 6 years later, 18 operations down, and approximately 77 times of a nurse shoving a tube up my pecker to administer chemotherapy, I still have cancer.

It just keeps coming back, no one knows why but it does. I guess my bladder is a pretty comfy place for cancer despite the war zone it must look like inside. I wouldn’t say the doctors are guessing at how to solve my situation but I know they are not 100% confident with the way forward. Unfortunately there aren’t many cases of men my age with this disease, or one as persistent. The only viable solution currently is to operate, administer chemotherapy, hold thumbs and hope for the best. Not very comforting hey. I think I have become so accustomed to having this disease. 6 years of ones life is a long time and I would go as far as to say I actually cannot remember how it feels to be ‘normal’ anymore.

I cannot ignore the fact that having to endure cancer is painful, both physically and mentally. I experience pain for a large part of the year, and by pain I mean it feels like someone is cutting me open every single time I go to the bathroom. An operation every 3 months = 4 operations annually. It takes one full month to recover fully from an operation (pain wise), so add that up; 4 months of every year for the last 6 years means I have spent a total of 24 months in pain. That is 2 whole years…not cool! You may ask why don’t I take something for the pain, well only the really strong stuff helps and the problem is that it makes me drowsy. I also have a full time job so being drowsy just doesn’t work. My only option is to just endure it until it goes away.

I could spend hours writing about all the negatives, what I want to really show you though is that it has made me a better and happier person. I have accomplished far more in these last 6 years then I did the previous 25. I married the love of my life, I got a commerce degree despite failing math at school and barely getting a matric, I found God, and lastly, my wife and I adopted a baby girl. I intend sharing more of my story but focusing on the good and why I view cancer as blessing rather then a curse…