By BIGA LEBASI
EAWEDO! Hello, I am slowly dying of cancer of the prostate gland here in Port Moresby.
I still have six and a half years to live with you on planet earth.
My Cairns urological surgeon Dr Neil SI Gordon, told me this in the North Queensland city after my biopsy he had organised with other specialists he is associated with there in 2014.
I had asked him in his cancer clinic at the corner of Bunda and Spence streets how long I had left to live on earth before dying from cancer.
He said because of my positive attitude to life and my good sense of humour, “I give you 10 years and six months. The quality of your life depends on you for longevity.”
I accepted his prediction with faith and belief that whatever would be, would be: que sera sera! And he handed me a fatty cancer-kit, a product of his expertise on the whys, hows, whens, whats and which and whos regarding the disease, to help educate me. I smiled. I like reading. Eawedo (also thanks in my native Suau lingo).
My doctor is kind and generous and talks with me, not at me. He and his wife and daughter run the clinic with precision. They and my other handful of Cairns cancer carers provide me with love, acceptance and tolerance as I age with my five health issues in tow.
I have no regrets, for I had prepared myself earlier, years ago – before leaving for a holiday in Cairns in 2014 that I would face the consequences of whatever the outcome of life threatening illnesses, plus old age, that I would encounter as I continue on the downward slide to the end of my 76-plus years on earth.
I had trouble urinating while there in Cairns in 2014 which led to the use of a catheter to drain urine from my blocked “pipe “ that attaches itself to my bladder; after which Dr Gordon recommended an immediate biopsy, what with an enlarged prostate gland!
That was in March 2014 thus I have six and a half years to go before cancer of the prostate claims my life. You can say I am predicted to die on Sept 10, 2024.
I write this “My Story “ not to sensationalise my illness but to share with people out there my experience in order to help someone else in the same or similar situation in PNG and the world at large.
I took my doctor’s prediction quite calmly because throughout my life as an avid reader I educate myself about cancers and other health issues by reading. I also point to my near-death experiences earlier in my life, two of which I had shared with my readers in my personal fight against prostate cancer awareness campaign I had started in The National Weekender since 2014 when I was on the staff then.
Three of these featured the death through cancer of my sister Sinehemo George (cancer of the uterus) and my paternal aunts, both sisters, Olive Lebasi and Iva Doilegu Petero (cancer of the breast).
I am not afraid of death. I am only afraid of dying in pain.
My cancer is behaving quite well and the PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) blood tests in Cairns since after the operation there had plunged from a high of 27 in 2014 to 21 in 2015 and 15 in 2016. When this figure rises to 30 and plus, medication is prescribed, my doctor told me.
I do feel healed, apart from my trending high cholesterol and high blood pressure issues. My annual cancer review in Cairns is a little over two years overdue for want of funds. Why can’t I have the review here in Port Moresby?
…because of corruption I encountered with a PNG cancer specialist who still owes me K150 for a review which is still pending since 2014. He never turned up for our appointments – me and six other outpatient. Cancers do return with vengeance, I do realise this, but in God I trust.
I wish to appeal to Sheilagh Richardson of Port Moresby to recommend temporary accommodation for me as I am moving house next week to make way for new owners of the property I am now living in at Ela Beach, a downtown suburb. Please ring Bubu Biga Lebasi on +67573264O37 urgently. Email: [email protected]
I do not hint I need sympathy, for I know God works in mysterious ways which I now experience daily, as I move closer to meet him one day soon.
And I do not hesitate to attribute my receding PSA blood test results to that enormous “gigiboli” (power in Suau) which is also called Jehovah God or Iehowa Guiau! Or Allah.
PART 1 of why and how Bubu Biga Lebasi resurrects his personal cancer awareness campaign is expected to be featured for you in Weekender soon.
- Biga Lebasi is a freelance journalist.