That word: Cancer
At the request of my husband (Jerry) I have written this blog, not something I wanted to do, however, Jerry felt he had to raise awareness about being diagnosed with an ailment that turned out to be something of a more serious nature.
Cancer a word I never thought I would ever have to write about, we hear it often many people say ‘I never thought it would happen to me’.
They say that 1 in 2 people will at some point develop this terrible disease and for as many years as I can remember we have donated to Cancer Research yet, there are so many who don’t beat it.
Two weeks before Christmas 2018 Jerry was diagnosed and boy was that the biggest shock to the system.
It was in November that my husband went to our local doctor here in the U.K because he was experiencing difficulties after eating, he said it felt a little like the food was stuck right between his upper ribcage.
He said he felt like he wanted to rift, like he was suffering from indigestion, the doctor prescribed him with Gastro Medication saying that it was a Gastric problem!
So off Jerry goes back to Kosovo, (He works for the United Nations) and after a couple of weeks he still didn’t feel better so decided to visit his doctor over there.
The doctor sent him for an Endoscopy thinking it could have been an Ulcer, which resulted in them taking a Biopsy, the results came back as negative.
The doctor wasn’t happy with the results and asked my husband to take medication for 10 days then go back and repeat the Endoscopy.
The results then came back showing a Tumour and he discussed with Jerry that the next step was a CT Scan, unbeknown to me Jerry had his suspicions and it turned out that those suspicions were correct.
The doctor explained that he had Cancer of the Stomach, as you can imagine his mind went blank, thankfully he had his boss with him because I think initially he couldn’t absorb everything the doctor was telling him.
After getting his results and some time to actually think about what he had just been told, it was time to call home and tell me.
I was of course heartbroken, my husband’s employers booked a flight to come home the very next day.
The hardest thing other than being told your husband has Cancer was to tell our daughters, all sorts were running through my mind.
Only those who had or have Cancer will understand what my husband is going through and only the loved one’s of those who suffered or suffer know what we as a family are going through.
When I had to tell family and friends close to us for the first time that Jerry has this terrible disease I broke down and cried, whenever I went out in the car on my own I cried.
Myself and our girls are staying strong for Jerry but it doesn’t make it any more bearable, although Jerry’s Cancer is at the very early stages he has that on his side, since learning more about the disease I have been able to handle it better.
Jerry has since had keyhole surgery and another Endoscopy to determine if there is any floating Cancer which thank God there isn’t, it is still contained and we are now waiting for him to start Chemotherapy which will be within the next couple of weeks.
I cannot thank his consultant over in Kosovo enough for what he has done for my husband, although I will do in person once treatment is all done and dusted, I also cannot thank Jerry’s best friend Carl enough for his support to both me and Jerry and for speaking to me on the phone and reassuring me because he has been there himself and that in itself has given me a breather.
And for Brendan, Jerry’s Boss and long term friend/workmate for his part in keeping Jerry in check after such horrific news and kenny another of Jerry’s long term friends for his support.
So what’s next? Well, Jerry will have 3 lots of Chemo over a 9 week period, then he will have the operation to remove the Cancer and some of his Stomach after which there is 4 weeks recuperation before another 3 lots of Chemo over another 9 week period.
Jerry’s message to everyone who experiences any kind of discomfort while or after eating is to pursue your doctor for a more in depth examination because doctors will automatically assume it’s a Gastro problem.
Don’t leave it too long either because had Jerry not seen his doctor in Kosovo, he could very well have been taking medication for Gatro problems for weeks even months not knowing what was really happening therefore giving Cancer time to spread.
Thankfully Jerry’s prognosis is good and God willing will remain so.
October 2021 UPDATE…
After Jerry had his operation and another 9 weeks of Chemo the doctors said there was no more signs of Cancer, however, he won’t get the final all clear for five years, two and a half years have gone by already, so not too long to wait now.