Somewhere over the rainbow.
Peter Østerby looks out of his window at the shining sun, his sharp ears spot a singing bird in the graveyard across the road “It is a migrating bird, and spring brings them back, it’s going to be a good day” he says with a subtle smile, even when he has not slept enough the last night as he had to wakeup more than 7 times to urinate. He lives in Aarhus, Denmark by the harbor in an apartment he lives all by himself since he separated from his wife.
He worked as an assistant nurse in the Aarhus University Hospital before he took a voluntary retirement at the age of 60, thinking he would add relaxing to his routine. Peter spent his retired life singing in the choir, dancing, and acting in a theater group. The most exciting part of his day has always been visiting the swimming club by the beach and taking a heart felt swim every morning.
While Peter was busy living his life, fate had it’s own plan to execute. He got a call from his brother and was informed that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had to go through a painful surgery. Peter visited his brother at the hospital, where the doctor recommended him to take the test just to be safe. The result turned out to be positive with a Gleason score of 7, which meant the cancer cells were growing rapidly and needed immediate attention.
Peter decided against any medication and try alternative ways of dealing with it. He ate healthy and organic and visited alternative cooking methods to keep away from chemicals and preservatives, as an extreme method to survival he even visited one of the holy healers (healing people by just touch) in brazil.
Realizing he had spent most of his health insurance money, on returning home he checked on his Gleason score, which was now 9, in the verge of spreading into the bladder. Seeing death at a close proximate would have broken a lot of spirits but Peter was a fighter. He once again ignored the local doctors suggestions, he then discovered ‘nano knife’ technology, which was now curing cancer with a great success rate, and he didn’t waste time on making a loan against his home and went to Germany to get the surgery done before it was too late.
The surgery in Germany was successful, however had left behind a scar and the cells could grow back into tumor if left alone. A surgery was scheduled after few months; they had to insert a urinal catheter into him as a urine outlet during this period.
While he was dealing with pain his desire to live never subside, he made sure he did everything that he loved before his diagnosis and kept his life as normal as possible, however he could not swim and he did miss it the most.
“ I sometimes wish there was someone, who I could share the pain or feelings with. It’s not always possible to call a friend late in the night.”
The day arrived when the final surgery was due and this surgery would answer a lot of questions about Peter’s future, Will he need a catheter for life? Does the scar have cancer cells? Has he een cured of cancer? Peter was calm as usual even on that day questions running in his mind did not scar his smile, for the first time he felt comfortable with the doctors around him.
“I want to live a long life, may be 100 years or even more. I believe in reincarnation but I feel I have not lived this one completely yet. So I am not ready to die yet”
The scarred tissues recovered from the surgery were sent into the lab for tests, and Peter was sent home to rest, but he decided to live instead and was found singing with his choir at the concert on the same night.
“ I just want to get rid of this catheter, you know, I just want to walk behind a tree or something and pee freely once.”
Two days later Peter receives a mail from the lab showing his results as negative.This was a sign of relief and he did not stop jumping and smiling that day. The next morning he decided to walk to the beach and look at the ocean with arms wide open letting the sea take over his emotions.
“ I hope I can start a new life soon, swim in the sea again and may be even find love again.”
Denmark has the highest cancer rate in the world. According to the World Cancer Research Fund, Denmark has 338 cancer patients for every 100,000 residents. Only 60% survive for more than 5 years after the diagnosis.
This is a humble attempt to create awareness on cancer in general using prostate cancer as an example.