About 25-Years Ago . . . A Dentist Friend of my Sister & Brother-In-Law Saw a Swelling in my Throat (Neck) Under & Near my Left Ear, which for a Number of Years, I Took for Granted, that the Swelling was Nothing More than a Fatty Deposit.
At The Same-Time . . . Also for a Number of Years, I Couldn’t Properly Rotate my Neck to See Behind me when (Riding My Horse) in the Saddle, for me to Speak with Whomever was Riding Behind me, Without me More-Or-Less Rising in the Saddle to Rotate my Body.
Also . . . For More Than Just A Few Years . . . I Couldn’t Open my Mouth Wide Enough to Take a Big Bite out of a Thick Smoked-Meat Sandwich. And if I was Able to Open my Mouth Wide Enough, my Jaw would Snap. At One Time, my Jaw Snapped so Loudly in a Crowded Restaurant, that People on the Other Side of from Where were Seated in a Relatively Large Room Heard-It.
I Spoke to a Temporary Replacement for our Family Doctor, who said “Don’t Worry”, the Swelling is Probably just an Infection. She gave me a Prescription for Antibiotics & More or Less Brushed-Me-Off. So Much For Public Healthcare.
I Also Spoke with my Own Dentist About the Snapping of my Jaw, and he Said, it’s Probably “TMD”, Meaning that my Jaw was Probably Misaligned and the Treatment to Realign my Jaw Would be Worse than the Misalignment.
So I Did Nothing – Until that One Night in our Home at a Small Party Anne & I were Hosting, When this Dentist Friend of My Sister & Brother-in-Law Insisted that I Go Back to the Doctor & Demand Further Examination.
This Dentist Had A Strong Inkling Of What Was Wrong With Me – But Didn’t Want To Say . . . But He Was Right.
There’s a Great Deal More to this Story than Just what I Wrote in the Preceding . . . But the Moral of the Story was, that I was Satisfied in Not Really Knowing what the Real Problem was, as much as in Just Accepting the Opinions I was Content on Hearing.
The Bottom-Line Was This . . . Not Only Did I Have Cancer, and Probably had this Cancer Brewing in my Neck for a Period of many Years, it was Called a Mixed Tumor, with an Extremely Aggressive (Fatal) Cancer being Sheltered Inside a Larger Benign Tumor, which was Literally Days-Away of Breaking Free from the Benign Tumor.
Had it Not been for the Dentist that Insisted I Revisit the Doctor, and for Anne Who Forced the Expediting of the Tests, Surgery & Treatments . . . It Was Virtually a Guarantee that I Wouldn’t have Survived More than a Few More Weeks.
I Went From Ignorant Bliss Of Not Knowing – To Surgery – To Intensive Therapy.
From The Surgeon’s Office – After Hearing the Dreadful News, Anne & I Walked Along the Hedge-Lined Montreal Street Beside the Hospital Amongst the Winter Debris . . . Dirt, Sand, Refuse, Dull Weather & Early Spring Dampness.
AND AS HEART-SICKENED AS I WAS . . . I HAD AN INCREDIBLY STRANGE THOUGHT:
My Thought Was How Lucky I Was To Be Alive & How Beautiful All This Detritus Appeared To Me.
I Won’t Delve Into The Long & Extremely Uncomfortable Recovery Regime . . . But I Will Tell You This. The Moment I Discovered . . . that What was in my Neck was Cancer, and that I Had More or Less Been Living on Borrowed-Time Before the Surgery . . . I Came To Several Life-Altering Epiphanies After The Worst Sleep-Night Of Dreams In My Life.
1 – I Awoke the Next Morning of this Horrific Semi-Conscious Array of Night-Thoughts Feeling Unbelievably Refreshed, AS IF . . . If I Were To Have Died, I Would Miss all the People, Animals & Flora that Meant so Much to me . . . BUT I ALSO FELT – THAT I WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN CHEATED BY ONE IOTA OUT OF LIFE.
It Was Fascinating . . . How After Coming so Close to Death, That I Realized How Important It Was To Live – And Not to Focus on What Was . . . as Much as What will Be, And When That Day Comes, As It Will For All Of Us . . . Having No Regrets About The Life We Lived Might Just Be The Greatest Gift You Can Give To Yourself.
2 – I Also Realized That Ignoring Symptoms Does Not Make The Symptoms Go Away.
3 – And From Time-To-Time . . . When Dealing with the Most Unpleasant Circumstance, the Only Remedy is an Equally Unpleasant Response. And just Like Cancer, If You Don’t Deal With It . . . It Won’t Go Away & It Will Deal With You.
BEFORE IT METASTASIZES:
What We’re Facing Now . . . Worldwide, But Specifically for You & Me in North America – Is An Aggressive Socio/Political Cancer Metastasizing Throughout Our Society, With which we the People Have the Treatment in Numbers Far Too Big to Ignore or Defeat.
I Couldn’t Deal with the Issue that Was Killing me Before I Knew The Issue . . . But Politically we Know the Issue . . . And The Treatment Isn’t A Secret – The Treatment Won’t be Pretty . . . But Neither Was Defeating Cancer.
Knowing What I Know Today . . . I Will Not Be Denied My Pleasure Of Life & Freedom & I Still Intend To Die With No Regrets.
Best Regards . . . Howard Galganov