The Luck of the Draw

four aces from a pack of cards

Last Updated on August 27, 2023 by ADMIN-TOM

Life, in general, is pretty much based on being in the right, or wrong, place at the right, or wrong, time. Step off the kerb and you could find yourself being hit by a bus. Walk under a ladder and you may, or may not, get splattered with water by a window cleaner. Sit down at a lovely outside restaurant only to find a bird flying by decides to relieve itself on your head. Actually, if you adhere to the Hindu religion and a pigeon poops on you, it’s a sign of good luck. If it’s a crow on the other hand, well that can be a sign of bad luck. As I said at the beginning of this piece, being in the right place or wrong place can be all about luck.

Personally, I feel I was in the right place, at the right time when I contracted lymphoma. I consider myself incredibly lucky living in Cyprus because when I first became ill, it took several months to find what the cause of my shortness of breath was. I was sent for procedures on my heart, then an endoscopy procedure, colonoscopy, an angiogram and finally a blood test in the haematology and oncology departments. It was the final blood test, followed by a biopsy that ascertained I had Lymphoplasmacytic Lymphoma. My body’s ability to create good blood had been compromised and my bone marrow was 80% invaded by the cancer.

It then took nine months of intense chemotherapy on an almost weekly basis to bring the 80% down to 5% invasive. I had beaten cancer. But only because I lived in Cyprus. If I was still living in my native England, I can safely bet I would still be waiting for my first appointment. That’s not to say the NHS is worse than the equivalent service in Cyprus. But what it does tell you is that the Cyprus health system is under less strain than the UK’s NHS. As I said, pure luck I was in the right place at the right time.

Having said all that. One of the factors in developing the lymphoma was, perhaps, a fall I had a year before Covid-19 struck. I broke seven ribs. In hospital, it was believed I may have an internal bleed because my blood works were coming back showing a lower blood count than there should have been. That was not followed up by two doctors in Cyprus. It’s possible my lymphoma may have been around longer or was triggered out of dormancy by the fall.

What is certain, if I hadn’t got a shortness of breath when I did, it may have been too late to stop the cancer. Wrong place at the wrong time? Who knows. But it seems pure luck does play a big part in our lives whether we know it or not.

Copyright © Tom Kane 2023


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