Hello to all my beloved family and friends all over the world.
Yes, today 23rd August is time for another testimony. I have been fighting cancer for 26 years!
As this is a really special mile stone for me, my testimony is longer than usual, but I pray that you will take the time to read it, and be Blessed. Please pass it on to anyone you think would like to read how great our God is, even in the difficult times they may be going through.
20 years ago today, I experienced my first Miracle of been given extra time with my family and friends.
I've been blessed to see, touch and love all my 4 Grandchildren.
Today is my late Dad's birthday, and today he would have been 95 years old. But he died 8 days and 39 years ago, unfortunately he only got to see Garth, who he loved so much, one of his seven Grandchildren.
My Testimony this year is very special in that I'm going to tell you how God has been with me through the 26 years I have fought cancer and allowed me to live, when I should have died – a number of times!
My stories about how Jesus has blessed and undertaken for us, is hard to believe, but trust me I have been through hell, suffering extreme pain, loss of strength, depression, and financial difficulties and so much more. But I still have my Faith.
My Earthly saviour has been my blessed wife Win who has herself, been through absolute hell and suffering alongside me. Her Love and attention in caring and looking after me, has been a major part in giving me strength to carry on and fight. Although there have been TOUGH times between us, she has hung in there, cared, and been there for me in spite of her experiencing really difficult and broken times that I caused - without my normal strong and unbroken love for her. The really bad times and huge stress we went through, some of which I am going to share with you below, caused Win to develop some critically health issues as well, but both Win and I KNOW our love and TRUST in GOD has carried us through. My children, all 5 of you, and my Grandchildren, family and friends have also been a tremendous support, and I don’t know how we would have got to today without your love and caring.
During the 6 years prior to the major operation, I had numerous operations to remove the cancer, every few months it would be back again, even though the frozen sections indicated that it had all been removed. Large pieces of skin were taken from my thighs to be used to re-construct my ear, as each time more and more of it was removed.
In 1995 I underwent another fairly big operation and the surgeon said that the tumour had grown too big and deep for him to remove. He then decided that the answer to this would be radiation.
I was sent to an oncologist who said that radiation would definitely shrink the tumour and kill the cancer. Every morning for 6 weeks I had to go through to Hillbrow for a few minutes of radiation. It really made me ill and every morning at 6am some of my special friends or Win would take me through as I was not fit to drive back after the treatment.
After the 35 sessions of radiation was completed and I slowly regained my strength back, I was able to carry on with my life.
Exactly a year later, the pain returned and the terrible C was back. There was only one option left!
Today 20 years ago, I had a massive 11 hour operation to completely remove my left ear, bone and a lot of surrounding tissue, which if I had not under gone, would have taken my life. After I came out of ICU, I was put into a private ward, as I looked terrible. One evening after my visitors had left and I was lying in the darkened ward, praying, I heard God say to me that he had given me a second chance of life, a reall miracle and I promised God that I would give my Testimony of His goodness each year. Which I have done, for the past 19 years. The specialist told Win that if I hadn’t had the operation I would have had about 6 months to live. Another six weeks of daily radiation followed.
Unfortunately it didn’t end there, the terrible C continued its path of destruction on my body over the years and I developed tumours in my right ear. I had 3 major operations and reconstructions followed by more sessions of radiation. One of the tumours was in my mandible joint and the specialists said that he would have to remove the joint and part of my jaw bone, which would have left me with a deformed face and I would have had great difficulty eating. Again Jesus performed ANOTHER MIRACLE and the specialist was able to cut the tumour out of the bone and save my joint. But there was more to come!
I have a very special friend Aunty Trish Dykes. She taught me as a little boy at Monument Primary School in Krugersdorp. She is so special and I love her lots. There was another very special friend. My son-in-law, Dale’s Aunty Thelma. God bless your Soul Thelma. I was battling with the epilepsy and just wasn’t feeling myself. Aunty Trish recommended a very good physician Specialist. I treasure her advice and the doctor’s details she gave me.
I was 53 years old at the time and Win made a decision for me to go and visit the Physician Specialist, just for a general check-up. I feel that this was a message from Jesus to Win, for my life to continue. I saw the doctor who did a thorough check and sonar. He looked satisfied but suggested that I have a few blood tests done, one being my PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) checked. The sonar had shown that my prostrate looked normal. The results of the blood test came in, but I had a PSA reading of 12.65! He thought I had an infection and gave me medication for 3 weeks. I then had to have another test and this came back with a reading just under 12. The doctor wasn’t happy and referred me a Urologist as he felt that something was not right!
Well up to this point I had absolutely no pain in my prostate area or any other symptoms that there could be a problem. I just had a painful right leg and lower back. I had been going for physio but there was no improvement and the physiotherapist eventionally said to me sorry, can’t help, goodbye!
I went to see the Urologist that I had been referred to and he said that he would need to do a biopsy, which I had done just before the Easter Weekend 2010, the results of the biopsy took longer to come back because of the Easter Weekend and other public holidays, the doctor was also away over this time. It was a very anxious time and stressful for Win and I having to wait so long for the results. When we finally received the results, it was a huge shock, the terrible C was back!! 13 cores had been taken and 8 of the 13 were riddled with cancer. A special test called a Gleason count was done on the affected cores. A reading of 1 indicates a low cancel cell count and 5 a high cell count. The final test results are given with two readings, both from 1 to 5 and then added together to get your Gleason Score. Man, I wish I got this result learning arithmetic in Primary School – My Gleeson count was 9 out of 10, this indicated that I had my outlook and didn’t look good as I had aggressive prostate cancer. What a shock it was for my family and I. Not again, and now another form of cancer, I questioned why couldn’t I just have a break.
Now this is where my dear friend Thelma came into the picture. She recommended I go see a top Urologist at the Pretoria Urology Hospital who had treated her over many years.
Win, my eldest son Rodney and I went to see the urologist who did the biopsy. He was at a loss for words and hummed and hared as how to proceed. He didn’t want to handle my case; it felt as if it was out of his league. I asked him who he would recommend I go see, or what else I could do and eventually he said “go see Dr GHI or Dr LC at the Urology hospital in Pretoria. Bingo!!! That’s what I was waiting to hear because God had told Thelma to tell me to go to Dr LC. It was confirmation that I was been guided in the correct direction. Thank you Jesus!!
Men, boys, go and have your PSA checked, it’s just a simple blood test, but can save your life, Please!!
Win phoned Dr LC’s rooms to book an appointment; this was in the latter half of April 2010. The receptionist said “yes you can come, um, in July…” then Win told the receptionist “My husband has a Gleeson Score of 9 out of 10”. Silence! Then “just wait, just wait”. A few seconds later she came back on the line and said that Dr LC could see me that Friday 23rd April.
I saw Dr LC on the Friday, with my test and scan results that I had already had done. He wanted me to have another MRI scan that at that time there were only 2 hospitals in Gauteng that had the MRI scanner. Luckily one of them was at a hospital west of Pretoria. I was booked for this scan on Tuesday 27 April. A normal scan is done by scanning from the outside in, but this new scan is taken from the inside out.
I went back to see Dr LC after the scan with the results. He gave me the very bad news, that I had very aggressive cancer and that I only had a 29% chance of survival. He recommended that I have a Radical Prostatectomy and that he was going to put a team together to operate on Saturday the 1st May. He told Win and I that he would first remove some of my glands and if there was any signs of cancer he would not continue with the operation.
Luckily the glands were clear and he continued with the operation, a Radical Prostatectomy, including the seminal vesicles, as the cancer had spread. The histology report indicated that the cancer was very aggressive. The Tumour was graded as a 3C, and this meant that it was at an advanced stage. My life had been saved, ANOTHER MIRACLE from Jesus.
It took many months to recover enough to continue working again. The operation and recovery time together with all the unpaid medical bills had a huge financial impact for Win and I. But it was ANOTHER MIRACLE from Jesus, He saved my life again. If I did not find out that I had Prostate Cancer, I would not have been here to Celebrate Christmas with my family and 2 very special grandchildren, Hannah and Luke, who were 18 months at the time. To be able to hold, hug and kiss them, what joy!!
However towards the end of 2010 my PSA started rising again and I had to go for another 25 sessions of radiation in January 2011.
By now, all the radiation sessions I had received during the 15 years had caused damaged to my brain. As the oncologist told Win, they had cooked me to kill the cancer, but in 1998 I started having Epileptic fits, as my left temporal lobe had been damaged. Unfortunately the Epileptic fits became more severe over the years and I had to stop driving a motor car. My short term memory has also been affected and is getting worse. And so it goes on, the damaged caused from the radiation. I have a cyst the size of a golf ball in my temporal lope on the left side of my brain, I have continual pain where nerves have been removed or damaged and so many glands have been removed. I have hardly any salivary glands left and must always drink liquid to just not dry out! But Thank You Jesus I am still alive!
Alive? Yes. And guess what? I have found out that I am living a life much like the suffering Job in the book of Job in the old Testament in the Bible. What he went through with the evil one testing his Faith with God is exactly what I am going through. The hell I’ve been through, I still have my faith and Love God very much and I want to say to you all: the few years of life on this planet whether it’s 40, 50, 70, 90 whatever it’s NOTHING compared to where we will live in Eternity after our death.
2012. The battling continued. Win, Crispin and I went away for a few days to Mabula. We stopped in Warmbaths for a meal and I had a fit in the restaurant. Win and Crispin managed to get me back into the car and we got to Mabula safely. Crispin helped me into the chalet and I slept on the bed. When I finally woke up after the fit, the right side of my neck was painful and a bit swollen; we assumed that I probably had been bitten by a mosquito or spider. The swelling got worse and a huge lump appeared in my neck muscle. On our return home it was confirmed that the terrible C had struck again. I had a tumour in my muscle. This again resulted in me having to undergo another radical operation, my whole neck muscle, glands and one of the major nerve branches had to be removed as the cancer had penetrated them. I have been left with a shoulder that sags, weakness in my arm and incredible pain that I have to live with daily and try control as best as I can. But wait. The biggest setback of my operation was that the Specialist had charged me nearly R40 000 for my operation. Just him, this did not include any other costs such as the anaesthetist, Hospital etc. The Medical Aid only paid about R8 000. What a shock and again Win and I were set back financially. We had to borrow the balance and that caused even more financial disaster. Again I was unable to work while I recovered as my right arm and hand was very weak.
After this operation on my neck, I had to have another 30 plus sessions of radiation and I asked God –Please, I’ve had enough now. My body can’t take any more radiation. I don’t know of anybody else who has had a total of 167 (one hundred and sixty seven) sessions of radiation, most of the radiation to my head and neck area and some to my pelvic area.
During 2012, my other 2 granddaughters were born – Kayla and Aurora. God had granted me another Blessing.
I have to have regular PSA tests done and last year my reading went from 2.77 in January to 6.59. I went for another MRI and Bone scan and the scans showed that my prostate cancer had metastasised into one of my ribs, and 4 places in my spine. The only option left for me now was hormone treatment, I read up and was told by the doctors, the side effects of the treatment, and was not really happy to start the injections.
My beautiful daughter Lindy had been to many talks presented by a nutritionist who is passionate about what you eat and how it affects our body in so many ways. She has successfully treated many people with a wide range of health issues with diet and supplements. Lindy took me to see her and she told me that I must cut out gluten, diary and eggs from my diet and take some supplements that she has had great success with. I decided to give this a try and really tried not to eat what was bad for my body. I stuck to this as much as was possible. I honestly think if I had known about her and her passion to help people a few years ago, it might have made a difference in my health.
January 2017 came around and I had to have another PSA test, the reading had gone up to 9.53!
If I wanted to live a few more years, until God called me home I had no other option but to have the hormone treatment. Finally the Medical Aid approved my hormone treatment and I had my first injection in March.
My eldest son Rodney and his family moved to the USA and they blessed Win and I with airplane tickets to visit them in June. While there we met their pastor. He invited us to breakfast with his family and I was able to share my story with him. Our last Saturday there, he asked Rodney if he could come around with a man associated with his church, Bill and pray with me. Bill has been all over the world, ministering and praying for people and has seen many amazing Miracles happen. He prayed for me for complete healing.
The week after we returned it was time for my next Hormone Injection. I had to have a PSA test done first. The reading came back as 0.05. YES! 0.05! I went for the injection and the oncologist said that because the cancer was no longer been fed the cancer would shrink and hopefully disappear, as long as I stayed on the treatment. I knew otherwise. ANOTHER MIRACLE HAD HAPPENED, GOD HAD HEALED ME!!
My body has taken a massive beating over the last 2 years and have had so many setbacks. I live with the consequences each day; I carry on fighting with God’s help. I lose my balance easily and have had many falls, (Thank God at least I have very strong bones), I don’t have the strength I use to have and tire quickly. I try not to climb ladders etc, to prevent any further injury, But I still thank God each day that I am alive
So to all of you, I love you very much, and grant prayers upon you all that none of you EVER go through what I have been through for 26 years. God bless you all and may I live another year to share the MIRACLES of GOD. Thank you JESUS.
Thank you so much to my Beloved Win who helped me get this Special Testimony out today.