19 September 2007

Part 2: This is my journey

At the age of 21 Darius found out that he had brain cancer. This is part 2 of his story.

On 12 September 2005, my family came to visit me at the Paarl Medi-Clinic. They wished me all the best of luck for the upcoming Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scan (MRI) I was due to undergo at the Panorama Medi-Clinic in Cape Town.

During the scan, a tumour was found on the rear section of my brain, and it did not look good. I was readmitted to the Paarl Medi-Clinic and underwent a six-hour operation in an attempt to remove it.

The operation was mostly successful. However, it was impossible for the tumour to be fully removed, as the surgeon did not want to cut too deep, due to the location. But as much of it was removed as was possible.

The next day, once the operation was complete, further tests were carried out to determine the type of tumour I have. It turned out to be a medulloblastoma, a very malignant tumour, which is common in young children.

Unpleasant therapy begins
Soon thereafter, I began receiving chemotherapy and radiation treatment across my whole body for 15 days. For a further 10 days, I received it across my head only.

Every day, for the duration of the treatment, my parents had to drive 100 km there and back to the Panorama Medi-Clinic. I was very sick during treatment. Nausea, aggression, and exhaustion became part of my everyday life. I was forever suffering with chronic headaches and became irritated with myself. Depression began to set in.

I was obliged to take vitamin supplements during chemotherapy, and before I went for radiation treatment, and would then feel a bit better. Eventually, on 24 November 2005, I attended my last session of radiation treatment.

After I was diagnosed with cancer, I became angry, restless and impatient, but I never really complained about it all. I did however lose a lot of weight during treatment, due to a lack of appetite. I was so nauseous that I never felt like a home-cooked meal - in fact, I did not feel like eating anything. However, I was still crazy about ice cream, and yes, bowls of it.

Life begins to look positive
As soon as I stopped receiving treatment, I started feeling better by the day. I slowly started eating again, the chronic headaches began to subside, and I was feeling less irritated and tired. I can really say that that I am starting to eat well again.

I eventually began to accept my condition and started feeling positive about myself. Currently, I do not feel too bad. Both my family and I hope that I will fully recover from my condition.

My situation is looking very positive. My family has commended me and told me that I am again becoming the person I was before, patient and friendly. I now have time to make jokes again like I did in the past.

However, I have to go for a follow-up brain scan on 6 January 2006, to see if I am going to be all right. I would like to continue with my studies next year. I have high hopes for the future.

(Health24, December 2005)


Darius has passed away since the publication of this story. We would like to extend our condolences to his family and friends.

Read more:
Part 1: This is my journey
Hierdie storie is ook in Afrikaans beskikbaar


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