A Timely Warning....Mouth Cancer..
Do you take heed of a timely health warning, or just stick your head in the sand, convincing yourself that all is fine..? Sometimes, we just have to sit up and take notice, when a health issue arises, especially if it's Cancer, then the choice of doing nothing may be no longer an option...
- Fighting Addiction...Alcoholism.
- Preparing For Battle...Cancer Diagnosis.
- Early Days....Coming To Terms...
- A Timely Warning...Cancer Awareness.
What do you do when you are suddenly diagnosed with Cancer? When that little lump that you had studiously ignored has suddenly taken on the mantle of every unknown fear that you could imagine?
This has recently happened to a dear and close friend of mine..
His worst fear has just be confirmed, and worse, he knows that he has probably brought it on himself, partly through his lifestyle.
Jay has already had to fight one of the largest battles of his life..Alcoholism.
It is a battle that had consumed his life, destroyed relationships, and driven away much loved family and friends.
With approximately a possible six months left to live, before the alcohol completely destroyed him, Jay went into Rehab, and with their unstinting support, and the enormous support of Alcoholics Anonymous, and the Twelve Step Programme, he turned his life around, even participating as a Support Line worker of the AA himself, and in helping others who have walked a similar destructive, soul destroying path.
Today, Jay is three years sober...He tells me that every day is a challenge, and that the day he really acknowledges his success at beating alcoholism, is the day that he is nailed into his coffin, and is still alcohol-free.
That is how much of a struggle it is...and that isn't just for Jay, but the majority of people going through the same day to day struggle, to beat this addiction.
To have gone through all this and won that particular battle, it seems so unjust that the next one was waiting just around the corner...
Preparing For Battle...Cancer Diagnosis.
We all do it..ignore that niggling health problem, that lump that comes from no-where..
We think that it is nothing, it will go away...and when it doesn't, that is often when we stick our heads in the sand, even when the voice of common sense is yelling out at us that something just might be wrong. We always think that it can't be us, we are one of the luckier ones..Cancer happens to other people..but not us...except it can and it does...
It was Jay's Dentist who observed the small swelling in his mouth, and suggested that it would be worth having it checked out. Jay had noticed it, but had not been overly concerned...
Nowadays, our Orthodontist and Ophthalmologists are more vigilant about picking up early signs within our mouth or eyes, that show potential problems relating to our health, and having been advised to check it out, Jay, knew that it could be ignored no longer.
He took the advice, as a warning. Maybe it was no more than a precautionary check up, but it was worth checking out.
It was the wisest thing that he could have done..It was the beginning of Mouth Cancer.
Maybe, inwardly he knew, deep down just what the biopsy would reveal..I know, as a close friend, I certainly didn't see it coming. and when he received the results and texted me, I was at first stunned, and then left reeling from the impact of the news.
There is no doubt that cancer is scary...we all dread it, we all hope that it will pass us by, but now and again, it stops and invades our life, and it is how we deal with it that then becomes the issue.
Once diagnosed and confirmed by an unusually straight talking Consultant, an absolute blessing in the medical world, Jay was told that he had Stage 1 cancer, and that within three weeks of diagnosis, he would be in hospital undergoing treatment to remove the tumour. He was now in the 'System', and he would be guided and supported by the medical team through his operation and after, until he had the all clear.
Stage 1 is the early warning sign, that something is wrong. It is rare that the cancerous cells have managed to multiply and spread to further areas.
If you are unfortunate enough to face a confirmed diagnosis of cancer, then Stage 1 is a lucky break.
Now speed and efficiency were the number one priority.
It would mean more tests, more investigation, but once all the results were collated, then it would be into hospital and in the hands of a dedicated team of Oncologists.
Early Days....Coming To Terms...
Coming to terms with a cancer diagnosis, can be a huge psychological mountain to climb. It not only affects the patient, but also all the family members, and close friends relating to the loved one, as they too come to terms with a disease that casts a long shadow, but it is not all darkness and ignorance, and with today's modern technology, that shadow can be lightened considerably..
People can come through cancer, and live a perfectly normal life afterwards. It is beatable.
These are very early days for Jay, and his family and friends, and I hope to keep you informed as to how he is doing. This is not a complete story, but only the start of a journey that Jay has now to come to terms with. We are all here to support him on that difficult journey, through the good days and bad, the guaranteed highs and lows that he will yet have to face.
He is very loved by all the people who have been blessed to be a part of his life.. Jay is one of the kindest, loving, and sometimes, most irritating people that I have been honoured to know, and my life is indeed richer for his presence in it.
Jay has been my singing partner for seven years, and one of my closest friends.
He is tough, stubborn, and pig-headed, and very well respected. I am more than confident that he will get through this latest battle, because he has already been to hell and back due to alcoholism, so he can just about take on the world after that...
A Timely Warning...Cancer Awareness.
I wanted to write this article to make you aware that this is a not a discriminate disease. Maybe I just wanted to bring to you an awareness that although Mouth Cancer is not as well known as Prostrate or Breast cancer, it is out there.
Jay has smoked all his life...he knows that this may even have been the cause of this tumour. Excessive use of alcohol and nicotine are prime suspects in producing this particular form of cancer..Smoking does not just mean Lung cancer, as I had always thought...in my ignorance.
Should you find a swelling or lump in your mouth that does not go down, get it checked out, just for peace of mind, if nothing else. It could just save your life.
So though I respect every individuals right to choice of lifestyle, I felt compelled to write and publish this article, with Jay's blessing, to make you aware of the risks involved with those personal choices.
The rest, my friend, is up to you...
Other Health Related Articles by Songbird B;
'Angels here on earth...The Carer's Story'
Why not write for Wikinut and see your work published on-line?
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