Thursday, May 21, 2009


The day that I went to the Hospital to be set for the second operation in opposition to the days before I was very thoughtful. Almost a year went by since I laid down in the mattress to expose for an innocent scanning, that came to transform all my life, after there was not any minute or second that could be the same anymore. I knew or I guess that I might have something hidden in the belly attending to the symptoms, but never such a surprise. When the operator of the scans started to call a doctor, after another one, and another technician, I either started also to frozen, and thinking what is going on, my God, and a doctor decided to have a little conversation trying to relax me but rather helped me, just soared even more the panic, She asked where I was from, and if was thinking one day to go back to Portugal, I imagined as she was asking me what would be my last wishes. This was the Time Zero. After in a few days we saw he mountain enlarging and become an Everest, I started to gradually get used with the news until the point when was said to me something that Justyna already knew, The doctors spread that my chances of live would not go further than 6 months, The operation was needles, as this kind of tumour always wins and they did not wanted to me suffer with something that will not improve my quality of life and not extend significantly my life line. Furthermore it was the big surgery that was required that might kill me. Even I was desperately left alone, the chemotherapy what was my only hope was also blown by the doctors. In the time the simple exchange of shift between nurses were always such a psychological pain, it happen two times in a day, they came around to hand over the patient to the next nurse in charge, and I heard often the comments of pity between them regarding to me. It is impossible to describe that days.

Thus run was a proof how we can resist to the worst atmosphere, Honestly before when I was free of Cancer also I was thinking I would never cope to live in the brink of the death, But we do, overall when we have a new born baby at house. But it is good that the run for the next step, surgery to the Liver was close, because now I was very tired of all.

I am happy for all of you as well, because after been diagnosed with Cancer you will have by the theory of probability less chances to have the same type of Cancer as me. They say only 2% of the Cancers are the same kind as mine and even more rare for somebody under 40 years old. Thus I hope I did easier the life for you in the future :)

Around 5 o'clock of 16th of May we arrived in the Royal Free Hospital, I waited for the doctor to speak with him, It came a doctor from Dr Fusai team, the explanation was above our expectations, in fact I needed that. I signed the consent form. There in the form was highlighted the aim of the operation -to cure the cancer, so happy I was with that small thing. He explained the plan A, the Liver should be cut in 60% to remove the tumours showed in the scans, but we should be aware that there is other plans, in the case that they would find something else in the Liver or in other part, This would not be good news but there was that risk.

Afterwards, I faced the bureaucracy side, I asked to a person that was responsible for the allocations of beds to the patients, incredible he refused to tell me because he thought I was not the patient, I explained I was the Helder, only after he made sure who I was he explained me the situation. He did not believe me because I looked too well :)

Before I came to my bedroom in the Hospital we all went for a wonderful meal outside, the chicken and mushrooms pie was great probably the best of my life I thought. After we started the way to the room, firstly I decided to pass in the chapel to have a moment with me and my protector. Around 9 PM I arrived in my bedroom, they gave me a single bedroom, it was good thus Justyna could stay overnight with me, it was the best that could happen. Shubhi went to our house with the rest of the family, included Olivia, It was the first time Justyna slept without Olivia. In the farewell of the day I heard the most beautiful adjective somebody as called me, Samurai, it gave me more courage. Thank you Shubhi.

In the room, in spite of all luxury, even a TV with multi channels, I felt like a prisoner having finished his day out, in the time to came back to the room. Me and Justyna kept almost all night in a warm chat, I slept probably for an hour, because so many time the doctors came around to do questions and set some drips. We felt more rested after the conversation with the doctor, even I felt with courage to do all the operations that would be necessary. We spoke about Patricia & Maria, thinking how much happy they should be that night, My friend Patricia gave birth in that day. This took us to Olivia, she was not there physically but she was occupying at least half of the bed. To see Justyna staying with me in the last night was metaphorical, because she was the person one year ago who said to me We will go through this together and you will be OK, Olivia need you.

The last checks indicated that my weight was on the top for a long time, I was with 65.1 Kg but my height lost 2 cm, I had only 176 cm. I was woke at 6.40 AM, and the secret for the next two hours is do not think about the next two hours, Justyna gave me a shower. Just before they came upstairs to drive me to the theatre, my mum and Filipe arrived to tell me good bye. I was calm, nevertheless when in the march to the operation I could not avoid to cry, it was too strong to say good bye to my Justyna and my mum again. It is harder to clean the brain than the Liver I was thinking to myself. Inside and alone I remember to kept joking with the team of anesthetists and finally feel happier when they asked me if I wanted something to relax and be more out of what was going on, and I said I think I need. Last thing I diffusely remind was to see Dr Fusai asking me if I was ready :)

The operation it was longer then expected, it went from 9 AM until 6PM, the Liver was sectioned in almost 65 %. The doctor explained to my family that fortunately all went very well and they performed the plan A and it was cleaned some liquid around the Pancreas. After I woke up and been told me that news I really felt the happiest man in the World, I was coming out from that tunnel and the pain was not there at all. I guess all the drugs highlighted all that feelings. But what happen after Justyna left me alone in the Intensive Care Unit I do not understand. I dived straight in a deep sadness and depression, all looked dark and irreversible for me. I did not believe in nothing, I thought all were conspiring against me, My mind was telling to me the news of course were the worst, they were not telling me the true, I imagined the cream that my mum made up her face were redness from crying, I could not feel any pain in the Liver, so the doctors did not touch it, the news must be very bad. In the operation they decided to do not use epidural, even that made very confuse. The hours, I felt as I was burning in madness, the seconds looked minutes and minutes looked like hours. So, surprisingly I was with more pain in the brain and soul than in the Liver. The panic only calm down when in the morning Justyna came and reassured me about what she told me in the night before was true, it did happen. It was Saturday but the doctor came around for a short visit, His words were not what a child would like to listen, but essential I was content, The operation was successful, my Liver should regenerate but I need more chemotherapy and he cannot give any guaranty that the tumor could not came back.

Because my body reacted well to the surgery they send me to the normal ward in the same night, and when I arrived there again I came to another bad dream, there was two patients pretty bad, one was breathless, they were trying to resurrect him apparently he was swapping with me in the Intensive Care, The night was not brilliant, my sugar levels were very very high what always increases the hallucinations. I thought it would be a miracle to surpass that night, I thought about N.S.Fatima about everything to bring me the morning. That night was too dark to sleep.

In fact in the morning I felt a different person, at 6 AM I was already listening some music that Filipe left for me and in the best mood that you can imagine. The worst has gone. I was happy to woke up Justyna to tell her how much I loved her and I was feeling great:) the news were to celebrate. Second day and I already went for a tea, toast and at lunch mash and gravy. I was in control of my pain killer, I had a pump that I could trigger the morphine to kill the pain, but the frequency that I needed the drug were longer and longer. The day was perfect with Olivia witnessing the day close to me.

Sorry about been so long, but this is my testimony of my last day with cancer, it also serves to be the catharses and detox of some bad moments from all of us.


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