In January 2007, three separate events collided to create a perfect storm in my life. First, my wife and I had sold our home, and we were in the process of packing to move to a rental. Second, my wife received news that her father had suffered a stroke and was in hospital in Switzerland, so we travelled to see him, and within a week he died.
After his funeral, I had an appointment for an MRI scan on my colon. As it happens, they discovered that I had a giant cell (bone) tumour, the size of a large eggplant, sitting on my pelvis. The oncologist told us that in 98% of cases, bone tumours are secondary cancer, and I had 6 months to live.
After three weeks and dozens of tests, I was informed that I belonged to the luck 2% club in that my bone tumour was benign, albeit aggressive, and so required an operation to remove it. The operation was successful, and after gruelling seven nights in hospital, I spent the following six months recuperating in the comfort of my home.
The trajectory of my life was changed forever. An encounter with death provides a clarity of mind unequal to any other event in life. I realised that time is precious, that I must focus on working on what I enjoy, and that love is everything.
The light only comes through us, when we are broken. For me, this bone tumour was not a curse; it was a gift, a blessing in disguise.
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