He was the talk of the news which kept every radio and tv station grimacing to the utterance of his name. How he rose to such fame was unknown by all and sundry.

He was known in the entertainment industry as “the Pop”. I had access to him because we were connected by blood – After I had a spill on my glove as i tried to take a blood sample from his vein.

He had built a huge mansion for himself, kept family on the outskirts of his life and surrounded himself by the people he thought loved him; neglecting the same people who had been with him, as he sprawled in the sands of poverty and the air of nothingness.

In this mansion, he had a wedded wife, with who God had blessed with three fine daughters. His daughters were his pride that he held them in amour-propre, ensuring they had the best of education by enrolling in one of the top schools in the country.

As the weeks went by, he came across a very strange inheritance as his value kept soaring- another woman; who would satisfy his passion, in the absence of the other woman and her daughters. The woman who would sift through the bits and pieces of his hefty bank account with her extravagant living; leeching it as she toured the luxurious restaurants and shops in town; raiding them through the cold touch of her mouth and hands.

Church was a wisp to his ears now. He spent his Sunday mornings either dining at expensive food joints with his new found friends, or offsetting from the exquisite wines he had consumed the previous night. To him, luxury was acquired through sheer persistence and hardwork; and so he didn’t realize the need to give attribution to God, abstracting the fact that his sixth phone which kept notifying him of his bank account alerts was his own idol.

He bought himself a gym at home because he loved to watch her wife run on the treadmill- to develop quick feet to run away from home with her daughters sooner or later.

It was all a matter of time, he was hit by the knuck chuck of fate and destiny. He presented to the hospital with severe abdominal pain. His abdomen kept getting bigger and bigger with the glissade of time. He had not emptied his bowels in a week, and spewed everything he ate; surprisingly, containing blood every time.

He sojourned different hospitals with the aim of recovery, but he was unlucky.

On 28th May 2015, there he was, on the hospital bed, on the verge of death. He couldnt control his tears as he divulged his past. He had sold his mansion and cars to pay off his hospital bills and lost quite a considerable amount of weight. Sadly, he had no asset to pass down to his family, just a bucket of tears.

His friends had foreseen this and blacklisted his contact number. The only people he had close to his hospital bed was his lovely wedded wife, and his three daughters who visited him day and night.

It was decided he endured the last of the surgeries; to relieve the plague, obstructing his intestines.

Everything was set for the final day after he had undergone prior lab tests. He had the notion of returning to normal after enduring this “last and only surgery”. Little did he know what would stare at the face of his surgeon.

Following this, I wanted to be in the operating room to observe how things would transpire.

On that day, the man was laid on the table and put to sleep. His abdomen was wiped clean give the surgeon the green light to cut and tie, with his doubled-up white gloves.

15mins into the surgery, the surgeon frustrated, was closing up the skin – “Surgery unsuccessful, it is a frozen abdomen.” The sound of the word frozen sent chills down my abdomen.

The tumour of his stomach had spread to involve the whole of his abdomen thereby, leaving him with a condition called “frozen abdomen” that would make further surgical intervention dangerous.

He was sent to the ward, and managed palliatively, until he went back to his Maker.

Gastric cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer-related death in the world, and it remains difficult to cure, primarily because most patients present with advanced disease. Unfortunately, only a minority of patients with gastric cancer will be cured of their disease.

Signs and symptoms of gastric cancer include the following:

1. The feeling of fullness right after eating.

2. Loss of appetite.

3. Vomiting, which could contain blood.

4. Passing feces which are blood stained.

In the late stages, there could be weight loss, breathlessness and jaundice.

Things that can increase your chance of developing a gastric cancer include smoking, obesity, eating very salty food, having an ulcer of your stomach and lastly, when someone in your lineage has been diagnosed of a gastric cancer.

Cancer of the stomach can extend to obstruct your intestines. It can also cause the “frozen abdomen” by invading the structures in your abdomen; thereby sticking them together like a freezer. I know you didn’t see the rhyme.

When you present to the hospital and gastric cancer is confirmed, it is important to start treatment right away, to prevent further spread and early death. Treatment could include surgery to remove the tumor, and the use of radiation and drugs to kill the tumour cells.

Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may lower your chances of having stomach cancer, but there is no guarantee you can prevent it.

Exercising, reducing salty food intake, and consuming fruits and vegetables are known to protect against gastric cancer so stay safe for a better tomorrow!

Eliezer

#DoctorDiaries

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