This week last year I began my treatment for Nasal Pharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) or nose cancer in layman’s terms. It was a rough journey and till today it still brings tears to my eyes thinking about the process I had to undergo towards recovery. It was a total of 7 weeks of treatment, 35 daily blast of radiotherapy together with a weekly dose of chemotherapy, endless poking of needles, scans and a basket full of meds. I lost a total of 14Kgs in that 7 weeks (and have only added 2Kgs of that back in the last 12 months).
Neverthless today, I am thankful. I am officially in remission and there is to date no trace of the cancer. I do realize however that the potential of it returning is always there and as such I have been advised to manage my stress levels and be careful of what I eat.
More importantly I have learn valuable life lessons I know I would never have learned if the handbreaks were not suddenly pulled while travelling at full speed. Here are some;
1) I am not indispensable. The success of my work, the project I am on, doesn’t depend on me. I do have giftings that I bring to the table but at the end of the day my giftings is not what makes or breaks the deal….so chill.
2) There’s always people who were born to ruffle your feathers. Whether they’re fellow road users or close friends, acquaintances or colleagues. Don’t fret the small stuff, just Keep Calm, let the water flow off the feathers, and move on.
3) I am not indestructible. When I heard the news – I couldn’t believe it. Cancer? Me? Really? Cant take my health for granted. I am in for the long haul – take care of the body!
4) Loving and appreciating my friends and family. I would not have survived the cancer if not for my devoted spouse and care giver, Connie who made the soups, pureed the food, calmed my raging stomach as it nauseated, drove me to my radiation appointments and watched me helplessly as I banged my head on the wall in frustration. My 3 kids who watched helplessly, accompanied me to hospital and gave me the courage to face the darn machine each day.
My church friends who prayed around the clock for me, counted the weeks off for me and spurred me to go on. The love meals they cooked for my family- I love the church.
I had friends from all around the world spurring me to go on and petitioning God on my behalf.
5) God was silent but He was there. There were nights and early mornings I just sat at my bed wondering where God was and if He wouldn’t just come and put me out of misery. (Heal me of course) But I only heard….silence. I know now for a fact He was there, through the comfort of His Word, through the love I experienced from all who were praying for me. More importantly carrying me through this ordeal.
I am constantly reflecting and thinking through this wild journey over the last 12 months. Its strange, I look back and I don’t know where the last 3 months of 2016 went nor the first 3 months of 2017. I spend those days, each day, just trying to recover and survive. I did nothing and was mainly unproductive but the lessons I have learned are invaluable.
My journey was recorded here :