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Janko Krotecjanko's obituary

May 24, 1946 - September 6, 2009

Living with Cancer – Part 2

Living day to day continues …

Travel became our passion, taking precedence over treatments. My oncologist, Dr. Connors, was constantly encouraging me to make plans for the immediate and more distant future. We traveled the world:

South America: Argentina and Chile. Patagonia – Tierra del Fuego
Africa: First with my darling wife, then a second time to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with two friends and two of our sons (one being my son John).
Europe: We made many, many voyages throughout.
Asia: Singapore, Hong Kong, Nepal, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Malaysia.

I continued my professional work with the same dedication of previous years.

I have often explored the mysteries of Natural and Oriental medicine — without any notable result.

A lesion on my face delivered another blow: Sebaceous Carcinoma. Fortunately, it was quickly removed. Twelve stitches also gave the right side of my face a partial lift — ha ha.

Over time I have succeeded in building strong alliances with the medical professionals around me. My oncologist, Dr. Connors, has become a true partner. My GP, Dr. Hassam, cannot do enough for me. Several other specialists became an integral part of my medical TEAM. My stubborn mind had found a perfect outlet: never give up, never surrender. No matter what anybody told me, I always had to explore it, find out more, and do my own analysis. After all, it is MY life and I need to be in charge, in apparent control. I will try anything …

Getting the most out of every day has become an obsession. Friendships flourish, my family comes closer and closer, each day has a meaning, each moment a gift, each breath a hope.

Eventually treatments became less effective. We tried different drugs, sometimes in combination. We even revisited previously used medications hoping they might now have something more to contribute.

Finally, in January of 2008 we came across a brand new treatment. I was the 2nd person in Canada and 26th globally to receive it. I was accepted into the Phase 1trial; of course, I had to sign my life away. Even though I had a severe reaction, this drug appeared to work like magic. We celebrated in Paris only to come home and back to reality — in only a few short weeks the cancer was back, the same magnitude as before. By August 2008, having exhausted all options (and I say for then and now), I accepted the reality of going into Palliative Care. This means the shelves of medical magic are currently — perhaps not forever — empty.

Home Care begins

Winter of 2008/09 was very bleak indeed. My body was telling me a lot. I tried to ignore the reality hoping it would all just go away. My physical condition was at odds with my desire to stay away and out of hospitals at any price.

I needed to make some far-reaching life choices. With the coaching of my oncologist, Dr. Connors, I decided to look honestly into the future. How did I want to spend the remaining years of my life? He suggested Home Care. My GP, Dr. Hassam set it all in motion.

I had to build a Home Care Team. The foundation of my Home Care Team is built upon the dedication of nurses Carole and Heather from the Three Bridges Community Health Centre. We assessed our humble condominium, discussed potential obstacles, and suggested changes to support my future physical condition. Carole matched me with Dr. Spring, a consummate fighter against physical debilitating symptoms and bodily pain.

This process was a direct slap to my proud face. I still have a hard time looking into the future while watching my body deteriorate and being in need of assistance. Yet I receive each and every day as blessed gift.

My Celebration of Living

The winter struggle brought forth an idea: I wanted to have a celebration, a Celebration of Living, my living. As the vision started to take shape, I realized just how important this event was becoming to me. My commitment brought my darling Donna on board. She became the event manager, logistics queen, and labourer of love. Many friends and family contributed beyond expectation, making the impossible possible.

We gathered family from close and afar, friends from distant places committed to being present. Everything turned out beyond my wildest dreams. We even created a musical slide show, a story of my life which you can view here.

My website was born allowing generous Canadian and American donors to financially support research into the root causes of Lymphoma and related blood cancers in both countries.

A toast to living ...

A toast to living ...

Finally, I summoned adequate courage and started these simple writings. My intention is simple: perhaps others will find something of value here, one small glimmer of hope which in turn may cause them to do something positive in their own lives, for themselves and for those they love. With this in mind I will do my best to keep writing. This is my commitment to all who read my words.

Until next time …

With love and affection,

Hope is a waking dream.” Aristotle

    1 comment to Living with Cancer – Part 2

    • Pastor Hanif masoh

      hello brother i work for poor comunity so want to work with you i am a pastor

      my name is pastor hanif i live in pakistan i am also poor man i work in poor peoples with bible

      i seek the bible in youth and childrean like sunday school and church

      so if you help us work more so i am sure u reply me very soon

      than x

      your brother pastor hanif masih

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