by Anton Wills-Eve

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This one really is true!!


I had a shock today, a real shock. I have been seriously ill with six illnesses for many years, one a totally life-limiting anxiey neurosis and phobia since I was five. But recently by far my worst was aggressive cancer which was diagnosed seventeen years ago. In 2000 I had major surgery and weeks and weeks of radio therapy and hormone injections and heavens only knows what else. The result? In the summer of 2001 I was given a maximum of six months to live.

Well since then I have had five cerebral strokes to add to my existing illnesses, the cancer has remained active for the whole time and my pain level, I also have a broken spine from a helicopter crash in Indo Cina many years ago, is such that I live on the maximum daily morphine level permitted for somebody who is not in hospital and medicates themselves under supervision at home. And on top of this my cancer has become aggressive another nine times and I have had three more  terminal prognoses. According to the one this year I should have died last month at the latest. So I underwent a final attempt to remove the spreading disease which MRI scans showed was threating others parts of me. Do you want to hear the shock?

Today I learned that the last peek into my person by surgeon and camera showed that all the new malignant growths had either shrunk to insignificance, disappeared or were just part of the original tumour which has decided to go to sleep again. The doctors just don’t know what to make of me. I was actually asked what I would like to do about my illness now as the medics had completely run out of advice or ideas.

Naturally I was very pleased with the news, even though my permanent fatigue, pain and intermittent mental confusion and slight manual paralysis are still there and always will be. But I just told them to pack up the injections which were painful and useless, keep up the treatment for my last stroke, and leave the rest to me.

My senior cancer doctor just stared at me, smiled, shook her head and said she wouldn’t dream of interfering with me any more. As long as I had blood tests every month to monitor all the symptoms that had to be watched in case they stared getting worse again, she was happy to leave me alone. But she did ask me where I got my phenominal constitution from. That was easy.  I told her I said my prayers every day and had done since I was three years old. She thought I was joking, so I added that I went to Mass as often as I was able, about twice a month, and received Holy Communion whenever I could.

She didn’t see the relevance of my reply and nor did any of her colleagues. They seemed to think I’m just lucky. Well naturally they are right. I’m very, very lucky that  the God I love so much seems to love me a lot too. At least for the time being I have no medical “deadlines” hanging over me.