A change of direction.
With the Covid lockdown for over 2 years behind us and my recent 5 year remission as Cancer free, I final got to travel for the first time in nearly 6 years. Over the past 6 years I have been, like the vast majority of people struggling to make ends meet. It was impossible to get any form of mortgage or loan so all my savings went into purchasing a house. Last year I had to sell my house in Cork as the financial strain was too much. I found a house in Kerry that was smaller and purchasing it helped restore some of the necessary finances but with the surge in costs of living these savings are going fast.
In a previous article I wrote about a close friend who was diagnosed with Stage 4 MPNST Sarcoma (a very rare, aggressive and fast moving form of cancer) I have been working with Terry since full diagnosis in March but via messenger and voice calls.. I’ve known this guy for 22 years. I had to research this form of Cancer to understand the medical side and my oncologist helped me understand the condition created by Sarcoma.
My oncologist had deemed me Cancer free after multiple test & scans, however my immune system was dangerously low and in April I had a bad chest infection. So he would not allow me to travel until early June. When I got the all clear I was on a flight to where Terry lives in Lanzarote.
The face to face meeting was incredible. We discussed nearly everything related to ongoing therapy. The devil is always in the details. It was inspirational for me. All the knowledge, experience, recovery, mental health and motivation fell together.
This is only the second time I had a full face to face helping a victim, the other was my partner Anita yet another rare cancer VIN. Every other victim was via Zoom, FaceTime or email’s/messenger., various forms and stages of cancer. I’ve also commenced dealing with non cancer related mental health issues for people that have made contact with us.
Together we are stronger
No One Fights Alone
In the US, 1 in 2 women and 1 in 3 men will develop cancer in their lifetime. Now, a similar rate has been reported in the UK, with a new study published in the British Journal of Cancer claiming 1 in 2 men and women will be diagnosed with the disease at some point in their lives.4 Feb 2015. That was in Feb 2015. It is now considered an international figure. God only knows what the stats are right now. As an employer up to 2017 I could see the requirement for taking care of employees with cancer or serious illness. Not all companies have this type of emphatic view but your business foundations are your employees. Cancer like any illness is beatable and what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.
A tribute to Paul Allen 1953 – 2018
Paul Allen co-founder of Microsoft . Paul was diagnosed with Stage 1-A Hodgkins Lymphoma 1982. His cancer was successfully treated. at the height of his business career he beat it to become a businessman worth 20 billion, But Paul was relapsed 27 years later with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2009. Likewise, the cancer was successfully treated until it returned in 2018. It ultimately caused his death by septic shock in 2018. He was 65 years old. Paul left a legacy that history will never forget. The two research institutes Paul Allen established in Seattle focused on artificial intelligence, brain and cell science and immunology are growing.
“The Allen Institute for Immunology is working to understand the dynamic balancing act of the human immune system, how it senses friend from foe and what goes wrong when we’re ill. Our studies aim to translate deep knowledge of the immune system in health and disease to improve the diagnosis”, part of this research includes the IVIG treatment I am currently doing
Paul Allen left a working legacy to help fellow cancer victims.
This blog site has had 37,000 viewers worldwide from 110 countries, and that’s without pushing it. We absolutely must stand together to fight cancer.
As a closing note where I said above that my survival was a medical impossibly, I was initially diagnosed in 2014 as Stage4 B Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple lymph sites, multiple tumours in the liver, lungs, throat. Secondary attack to immune system and right eye. This was then classed as terminal in Dec 2014. I relapsed in 2017 to require rescue treatment for non Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Classed as Terminal Stage 4 B multiple lymphoma, aggressively spreading throughout multiple organs. My PET scan looked like a Christmas tree. In July 2017 I underwent a full Stem Cell Transplant and at one point 5 years ago I was told to “make whatever calls you need to make” as 6 hours later my palliative care would be increased to the point that I would not regain consciousness, but thankfully that did not happen and it was the last time I was considered terminally ill. This is why I call it the impossible dream.
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