Monday, November 19, 2007

How much is a life worth?

Depends whose life. If it's yours, it's usually worth a lot. How do I know that? Well, I wish you don't go through what I have been through myself last week, continuing up till this moment as we speak. That is when I saw death and life in front of my eyes, smashing my face and waking me up for good!

It all started with a trivial symptom. It soon exploded with routine blood test results. Tests upon tests following. It's not whether it's bad. That we already know for a fact! Numbers speak. The darn CEA factor skyrocketing. It's about how bad it will eventually prove to be. It's about how long your living life will still go on. Whether we shall all die one day is something that five year olds already know from the kindergarden. The question is about how long your life is still gonna be. One year? Three years? Ten? Six months?!?! Even less?!? How's that possible? Except for that little bleeding symptom, you otherwise feel just great! Other than some sudden fever... and some occasional night sweats, that is. But those... this is not the first time you had 'em, innit?

Every single morning we hear about traffic and other accidents that bring dozens of young people to their death. No-one among them, I am sure, thought of that, even remotely, when he/she sat at the driver's seat that morning to head for work. This is easy, though. It happens in a moment of misfortune, totally unprepared, and you (perhaps) see a flash and then, that's it! You're gone. Those you leave behind will have to swallow the pain... but you're gone. You had no chance to even think about it.

How about a slow process that might bring you to your death though? How about coping with a series of events that will define how bad you are, as I witnessed since last Monday? Were moments when I... fainted (my first time ever in 54 years) and moments I wanted to weep for my misfortune but had no tears left. Seeing faces of loved ones staring at you desperately is one of the heaviest burdens and pains you'll need to cope with. They all hope for the better... but they are all getting prepared... some pray and some are almost mourning. Light candles in churches and temples for your recovery. You suddenly feel guilty for the pain and distress you bring to all of them. You know that it's bad but when you are gone... you're gone... you feel nothing no more... but they stay behind with a lot of pain in their heart. You just feel guilty because you are actually doing this to people you care about.

Waiting for test outcomes, next. Painful and burdensome like nothing you know and ever experienced before. Long ago in your career, or maybe still now as we speak, you often felt distressed if you didn't manage to make your quarter, looking for excuses to your boss, right?Let me tell ya! Who f*cks a boss and all his quarters!!! This is your life we are talking about. No way of turning back. You can't just lose it and then time-travel to an earlier moment of your life, when it was still early to treat your evil and change the course of your destiny... This is no parallel worlds BS we are talking about!

How many tumors? Which organs? How vital? Is there therapy for this? For that? What do the stats say? One in two? Or, eight in ten? Where do you start looking to find the best experts to handle your case? What if someone did a fatal mistake and they forgot something vital? Happens, you know!

I have not been in hospitals before... never to that extent. Some check-ups from time to time... one broken arm three years ago, all in all, chicken-shit. A minor operation back in 1970 as a teenager, that's all. My view of hospitals treating cancer was still like 40 years ago... you walk in the hospital... you get out in your coffin. That's it.

During my tests I was set up for a big surprise. Young doctors, fully skilled with excellent people handling skills, telling you the truth directly as it stands and no bullshitting you, still handling you with a lot of humanity, nurses handling you as a real person, state-of-the-art medical equipment, my God, the world has changed in 40 years (please don't laugh, I know, I may be an uber-geek and know a gazilion stuff more than an average Joe about the Information Society... in terms of the health business, I am just... an aboriginal!)

Notwithstanding, it has been a good experience. I, so far, appear to be fortunate amidst my big misfortune. I appreciate that and I am more than grateful to all those helping me and standing by me from the deepest of my heart. Doctors and nurses in the first place.

Seems that my case makes good chances for recovery from what we know so far. One needs to learn to live day by day, conquering a wee bit of the hill every day that goes by. Many pass away. Even more survive it. Science progresses fast. Maybe in the era of our children, when they enter the risk age demographic, cancer is curable as a simple appendicitis. What's for sure is that we shall all parish eventually but we wish for more convenient times. Preferably, when nobody on this planet will still need us anymore, even our siblings. Pray to your God, Allah, Buddha, Zeus, whoever, for your own good and your families that it happens to you and your loved ones to live long and healthy lives...

PS. I am not giving up this blog. Maybe some gaps and less frequent posting in the coming weeks because of upcoming operation, but I hope they have wifi at the hospital; I'll be doing a lot of postings if I get that lucky with the WLAN.

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