Welcome to Ethmoid Sinus Cancer - A website that documents how I, John Cairns, was diagnosed with and treated for a rare, small cell, aggressive, rapidly growing, cancer of the head and neck - T4bN2c High Grade NeuroEndocrine Carcinoma of Ethmoid Sinus - after showing symptoms of a common cold only.
If you are currently, but unknowingly, experiencing the symptoms and showing the signs of NeuroEndocrine Carcinoma of Ethmoid Sinus or have just been diagnosed with it, a rare form of cancer that only has 100 or so recorded cases worldwide, and want to know the following - carry on reading.
The information on this website explains, in plain English, the actual hospital visits, treatments and medications I have been given so far, the pains I have suffered, the things I have done to maintain my health and diet and the things I have needed to consider and action during and after my diagnosis.
I say "So Far" because I am writing these web pages AS IS (i.e. once a week) while I am currently alive. Obviously if I drop dead tomorrow.....
When you are first diagnosed with cancer your initial three thoughts/questions are probably going to be the same as every other cancer patients':
Why Me? - If you are religious, you may ask yourself this question because you feel 'God' has somehow punished you for past mistakes/sins. As I am not religious and do not believe in Karma, I put my particular cancer down to inherited genes only or at least cancer genes that were programmed to trigger when I reached the age of 49.
My surgeon said I could of breathed something in or ate something that triggered my cancer (altered/mutated my dna); which I doubt as I breathe the same air as everyone else and eat/drink the same types of food and beverages as everyone else.
Why So Early? - You may think you are too early to be leaving this planet, but the way I see it is that "If your number has been called.....". It is a sad fact, but sometimes it is your destiny.
I initially felt robbed of time, at only 49 years old (young-ish!), especially as I was in a serious relationship for 4 years with my Hungarian girlfriend Tünde whereby I have since married her and become step-dad to her four children. I thought "Why will this life be taken away not just from me, but from Tünde's 6 year old son?" He sees me his real dad (I met Tünde when he was almost one year old). It seems pointless to do this. Hence one of the reasons why I have never been religious.
How Long Do I have To Live? - It is bad enough that you have cancer and are going to have your family taken away, but another worry is the fact that nobody knows (not even the specialists) how much time you have left. They can only guesstimate.
Although the rational is that we are all going to die sooner or later, and that some of us would love to know when we will die (i.e. so we can plan ahead), being told you are going to die is not a luxury of knowledge (or fantasy) in reality. Quite the opposite. It is the worst news you could ever receive, however well you take it.
At the end of the day, even how bad this planet is becoming and to a certain degree how some of us wished we could die already, in reality I believe none us really want to die. This planet has not got that bad yet. There is still plenty to live for and there are still plenty of good people around to give us hope for the future; so do not concentrate too heavily on your cancer. Instead, focus on living a happy life until the very end.
I dedicate this website to my Hungarian wife Tünde - The love, devotion, time, energy and resources you have shown and given me without conditions throughout our relationship, as well as throughout these difficult times, are the things I have always loved about you and always will love about you.
The hospital visits and caring for me, especially when you have your own illness to think about, is a testament to your kind loving heart. Always helping others and putting your problems in the background.
Tünde - You have always been at my side and have always been supportive, which I Thank You for WITH ALL OF MY HEART. I will love and treasure you forever. And always remember one thing: "WE Are A Team".