Sami, cancer survivor: My vision of life has been changedQCS Team
I’m going to tell you my cancer story. Thank God, I am blessed with a new chance to live and survive after passing through a bitter experience.
My story may be a turning point for a patient who lost strength and will. It will be inspiring for those patients consumed by disease and treatment.
My name is Sami. I come from Jordan. I moved to Doha in 2016 with hopes and planned to start my own business and improving my children’s and my family’s material and social conditions. I was a kind father, responsible for the happiness and welfare of my family. I was an athlete, never smoked, and paid great attention to my health.
After I arrived in Doha, I began to feel a change in my right eye, although the external eye examinations did not explain why! However, an MRI scan did.
Here was the first shock when it turned out that the reason was the presence of some tumors in my brain. Later cancer spread to different parts of my body; the liver, the adrenal glands, the lungs, and the spine, and a terrible nightmare began.
I never thought I’d start counting the number of days left for me in the world, and I never imagined myself in bed, waiting to die , I’ve had mixed thoughts about everything in my life; parents, children, work .. etc.
Should I give in to sickness and death just like that? Should I open the door so easily for that monster to eat my body and my ability to live? During those days, I saw only death in front of my eyes. Death did not faint in my mind, so I was exhausted of this feeling until I stopped myself and asked, why do I think about death while I was still alive? Therefore, I resisted; I decided to co-live with it and put away every negative thought or slight idea that meant my life was ending.
I would hide this dilemma from my parents and family. I did not want to overburden them or make them feel pain or sorrow for knowing my disease, so I decided to leave them to their lives and studies. Even my wife has burdens and responsibilities against kids and their studies.
I started the journey of radiotherapy, then chemotherapy. Have you ever heard about chemotherapy and its adverse effects? It has severe impacts on the body and psyche. It causes delirium, weakness, inflammation, diarrhea, depression, and several significant side effects.
Cortisone and radiation left their prints on my face and frail body. Questions by colleagues at work began to increase. My capability to work was decreasing. I found that people are surrounding me offer their help. However, my decision not to inform anyone has never changed. I did not stop working, refused all assistance despite suffering from fatigue and pain, and endured all with love and conviction about God’s fate.
I continued with the chemotherapy for a while and liked to stay in the hospital, despite seeing patients suffering everywhere around me. Nevertheless, I succeeded in making these hard times an opportunity to create a peaceful and thrilling atmosphere. I used to sit in the hospital garden to enjoy the open air and chat with nurses and patients. I was grateful to God that the center was free of sick children because I couldn’t bear to see a sick child.
I followed the treatment patiently and effortlessly keeping resisting and insisting. Little by little, disease began to decline, and victory has overcome. Medical reports showed positive results after the chemotherapy. In contrast, the stage of immunotherapy has started. Hope, vitality, and strength returned to my fatigue body that was exhausted by the treatment.
I have become more upbeat and optimistic and look forward to the prospects of a better life free from cancer and treatment.
All this happens without telling anyone about my family. I endured a great deal of physical and psychological fatigue.
During that period, all excuses for not returning to my country and seeing my family during holidays and vacations are running out. My wife was inquiring why her husband was changing, so I had to tell her about my status and everything that had happened. She had never expected that I and death would be at a close distance.
My wife asked me to come to Doha immediately, but I refused, and she asked me to leave everything back and go to me. Still, I declined and convinced her of the necessity and importance of our stay in the same situation and continued my treatment, and she continued to take care of the children.
Thank God, I became better and better under the treatment I follow at National Centre for Cancer Care & Research.
My advice to those afflicted by this disease is to adhere to treatment, not give up hope, and not heed other advice that others believe will cure cancer.
Having achieved an excellent result with immunotherapy, my presence in the center became less, and I recovered successfully. After a short period, I visited my family. I told everyone, especially my mother, but I reassured her that I was being treated in safe hands and that it was much better than being in any other place or country.
At this time, I decided to end this line of my life and start over another bright line and page. I came out of that experience a new human being reborn after my recovery, and my view of life was renewed, so that time became more valuable, as well as in the evaluation of relationships and work, and God only determines that death. Determination, will, desire to live, and trust in God are the way to recovery and not to think about death for as long as we live. After all, exercise, adequate sleep, and healthy eating are the way to a healthy life.