5 Years later …..


Monday 15th of December 2014 Met the consultant who did not look impressed. He pointed out that they had done all they could, that the real effect of the treatment would kick in within a few weeks. I asked what to expect over the coming weeks and his answer was “enjoy your Christmas dinner because you’ll be in here for New year” I was taken back by this and quizzed him further. His answer was “There’s nothing more we can do for you, you have about six weeks and we will help as much as possible” and with that he got up and left the room. His registrar was still in the room, I was slightly in shock but asked her when would the consultant be seen me again and the answer was “when your admitted in a few weeks” We left the hospital and on the way out the door I looked at Anita and said you know what they just told us, she said yes. I clearly remember saying “well he is wrong”


5 Years later today the 15th of December 2019 and he was wrong, very wrong. The Radiology Oncologist has never once contacted me to this day. I may have had a difficult time during radiotherapy but like all other treatments I battled it. Yes I did get radiation poisoning and yes it was bad. I did struggle that Christmas as my appetite was bad. My Christmas dinner was spent with my Mum and Anita in my Mum’s house in Dublin. My Mum at that time was well and in great form. As a tradition since I had returned to Ireland in 2004 – I still cooked the entire Christmas breakfast, lunch and Dinner for the family. I didn’t eat much at all. We returned to Cork the next day (Stephens Day) as I had to be back in work on 27th – I won’t comment too much about that. But I did not end up in hospital for New Year, actually we spent New Year with my Mum. I remember having a pint of Guinness and a brandy at midnight. The following day we returned to Cork. The terminal diagnoses of 6 weeks was beaten, the 3 weeks from diagnoses to the New Year flew past and so did the 26th of Jan 2015 –one of the days I should have died out of 3 terminal diagnoses over 5 years. The other two I can understand, the second was prior to ICE chemotherapy but the oncologist and his team were extremely encouraging and the actual chemo had very few side effects. The last terminal diagnose following the Stem Cell Transplant nearly happened,

King James Bible
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: –

To this day I do not know how I crawled back through the gates of hell but I got lucky and was able to bounce backup. But that initial Radiotherapy diagnoses was a bad call.

Been told on the 14th of Feb 2014 “You have a form of blood cancer called Lymphoma” was one thing but at 52 and been told you had 6 weeks to live due to Cancer was another. There are so many arguments about the right and the wrong things to say – was it right that this Doctor choose to prepare me for what he felt would happen given my condition and levels of treatment or should he have considered the person sitting in front of him, I had an area to the right of my neck that had been badly burnt from the radiation and yes it was radiation poisoning but I was strong, I had not been physically sick I was well able to walk and talk. My record throughout chemotherapy was excellent I had recovered fast from every treatment, I was working everyday running my own business with 23 employees. These factors should have been considered by him but I do not believe that they were, he had looked at the levels used, at the damage to my skin, to the deep x-rays that showed that the targeted area had been exceeded and that there was an extreme amount of damage to the nerves in the area and concluded that I would not survive. I could have given up and yes the chances are that without battling this I could have died, but giving up is not in my nature.

If I ever meet this guy again I think the below manner of sign language would be appropriate  


I decided last week to release this article at the exact time and date that the radiologist spoke to me 5 years ago. Right now I am in full-time employment , I have regained a substantial amount of my customers and have created 22 full time jobs with the company in Cork. I walk as much as I can (bad weather conditions since mid October have not helped). I am today 884 days over a full stem cell transplant and officially 28 months in remission. I now intentionally avoid walking through the valley of the shadow of death.. but when the time comes for me to enter the valley of the shadow of death again then I will face death without remorse and without regret.

I think the below says it all….

E-Mail ian@hlai.ie
Linkedin Profile: www.linkedin.com/ian-f-doherty-pc
Facebook: www.facebook.com/hlai.ie

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