Thursday 18 August 2022

Writing a miracle story

An odyssey at close

Ten years ago, I left the Netherlands to return to the UK with nothing more than a suitcase and a bag of hope. It was the end of my 13-year odyssey, everything I had enjoyed in life and means – a memory; as I had reached a turning point, to start all over again.

In the three years before my departure, my whole life had taken a big hit, what looked like Athlete’s foot in early 2009 was in fact, AIDS-defining cancer, Kaposi’s sarcoma which at the complete diagnosis presented a dilemma of truth my consultant frankly shared, that if I did not respond to the treatment they knew worked, I only had 5 weeks left.

In the aftermath of what I call the long tail of cancer, for those who have a story after surviving it, everything I owned, I had lost, including my home of ten and a half years which I sold at a loss. All attempts to restart my life in the Netherlands fell through, I was in a prodigal spiral in need of a change.

A trial of the times

Making the decision to return to the UK, which to me was my home country was met with opposition and against other counsel, I knew for my own sake, it was time to close that chapter. I wrote to six of my closest friends who I envisioned in my mind would be my pallbearers, I just did not know what time I had left.

In the last paragraph, I wrote, “I am hopeful that things will turn however without intending to sound morbid, if anything does happen to me by reason of the circumstances I have encountered, I will want to be seen by friends and be rested in the land of my birth.” I was not giving up; I was being as realistic as I could be without making assumptions about my future. [My eyes welled up as I read that letter again, I have come a long way, indeed.]

Writing a miracle story

I have been exceedingly blessed because goodness, mercy, and favour followed me. I got a UK mobile number, updated my CV, and started looking for jobs. Within 6 days of my return to the UK, I had secured a contract and a rate hike during negotiations to travel around Europe as an implementation lead. It was to last 6 months, but due to issues with the company in the US, it was canned within 6 weeks, maybe a misfortune of sorts, but I was getting back in my stride.

Looking back 10 years, I have lived a miracle, for with the condition I had, apparently, some medical studies suggested survivors did not live beyond a decade after the disease and we are in the baker’s dozen years, I am here, doing well, keeping well, living well, full of hope and prospects, truly, deeply, and madly in love with the most extraordinary man who swept into my life in December 2018, Brian is my joy.

There is so much to write about, but I want to celebrate life, the power of hope, the showers of blessing, the mercy of God, the love of the heart, the pursuit of happiness, the support and candour of friends, my wonderful parents who have travelled incredibly unimaginable journeys of my experiences, my siblings, siblings (nieces and nephews), and cousins, sadly departed uncles and friends, and the spirit that never gives up.

Thank you all for being part of my story.

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