- Stepan Kment
I believed that there was something more important in my life that I have to achieve or to live for. My mind was bright and new.
I am 46 years old and am a father of four tremendous children. At the beginning of 2014 I noticed that a bulge on my neck had appeared. I called my very good friend, an oral senior consultant, and he suggested it be removed and to have a biopsy. I returned to work quickly after the operation and waited for my results. After a few short days, we found out it was a malignant tumour.
The next steps happened quickly, I was referred to Motol, a hospital renowned for treating head and neck cancer, and my doctors explained I needed another operation. This operation, however, was going to be bigger and more dangerous. While the operation was recommended, I still had a decision to make, but my diagnosis was head and neck cancer with metastasis of level 4. After knowing that, how could I not have the operation? So I underwent this huge operation, survived, and began to get into shape for the next step: treatment.
I needed to undergo both radio and chemotherapy, so for 7 weeks I had 35 radiotherapy and 6 chemotherapy sessions. I was open to everything and knew it was getting better with all my treatments. I did feel some side effects though; my neck got stiff, I experienced some hair loss and was vomiting all the time. Because the radiotherapy was focused on my neck, I wasn’t able to swallow or even drink. As a solution, my food delivery was secured through a PEG, which a kind of tube into my stomach. Also, my salivary glands were destroyed, causing a lot of pain and mouth sores.
When it was finished, my body was more or less dead, but I believed that there was something more important in my life that I have to achieve or to live for. My mind was bright and new.
After treatment, I was so weak and susceptible to any sicknesses, but totally happy. I like to think of it as imagining you are sitting in the chair, it is 6:30 AM. You close your eyes for a while and after a very short moment, from your perspective, you open your eyes again and it is 12:30 PM. You feed yourself, close your eyes again and it is 4:30 PM, basically the days were passing fast. I was trying to be as active as I could be. I was slowly walking around the neighbourhood. I would add distances each day, working up my strength and stamina.
Big thanks belong to my family. My wife, daughters, sons, sister and mother, especially my step-father, step-mother and step-cousin – they all supported me a lot. Many friends and colleagues from my work were sending me a positive energy, meeting me, writing to me and constantly checking up on me. There are still two guys I will never forget. I can call them healers. They showed me life behind the life. They directed me.