• Lewis

Part Twenty-three: War and Peace

After more than two-hundred forty-eight hours of treatment, losing count of hospital stays, four operations, two cancers, one clinical trial, and soon to be one stem cell transplant. I sit here in ward 4B at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital on the eve of my stem cell transplant - pondering if my latest endeavour is enough to bring this drastic chapter of my life to a final conclusion and so to its eternal resting place in the wilderness of my mind.

Although many believe I make it look easy – it certainly isn’t. Only an unlucky few realise their mortality at such a young age. A realisation that is not only life-changing but important. Not many people grasp the fact that life can change in an instant. All it takes is a single cell to go awol, a blood vessel to rupture or even to pull out into the fast-lane of the motorway at the wrong time (eh, Frankie Boy?)

You can try to reason as much as you can. Why me? Why did I get two cancers at such a young age, that were not a result of genetics or lifestyle? Was it that sunburn I got on holiday? Did I have one too many beers? Have I crossed a divine being in the way of which I am unaware? However, the answer is no. No on all counts. I was simply unlucky.

Of course, the future brings with it it’s uncertainties. Concerns about how the multitude of treatment I have had will affect me, will cancer strike again, heck I don’t even know if I am cured. The final concern is the worst part, the rumination of doing it all over again. Death isn't the worry - it's the endless hours of treatment and the dissident impact it has on your life.

However, amongst the uncertainties one thing is certain - life is short, and you never know how long you have to live out your dreams. You should always live life to the fullest. After all, worrying about things is never going to change the outcome of anything. You should always seek to control the things that can be controlled. Worrying about things that may never take hold is an unnecessary waste of time that could be used for greater purposes, ones that will bring great merit to your life.

Even amongst the angst, I can’t look at that the last eighteen months completely in a bad light. It has definetley had its ups and downs - that's a given. However, I have undoubtedly grown as a person, able to do things I was unable to before – with a complete new found confidence. A new found appreciation for the values of freedom, love and hope and and a strong appraisement for the act of living. Realisation that even the greyest of clouds have their silver lining.

Now more than ever, in such an uncertain climate. A world where many can't see their loved ones, can't do the things they love or even find homely comfort in day-to-day unostentatious activities. It is almost a guarantee every one will have bad days clouded with negativity and burden. However, it is critical that amongst those very captious thoughts one should always grasp hope and remember that bad days always grow into good days and no matter how tough it is…

Some day it will all be over.