The Story of One Man retold – 3

Hello lovely Family. We trust that you have anticipated the continuation of the story as much as we have and we loved writing it too. We felt every pain and sigh (don’t worry there are no spoilers). We always hope that our posts inspire you to do better and live right with God. Now dig in. 

 

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I’m afraid we have some bad news” more bad news! I thought, like my whole world had not just crumbled before my eyes. What more could happen, little did I know that Life as I knew it was over. I tried to lift my right hand in resignation and found out I couldn’t. I became frustrated. “Waarhh waarhh ris haapuning” I said. You guessed right, my speech had become slurred. The doctor with a look of dejection the kind I have never seen on a person less a doctor’s face proceeded to mumble a bunch of jargon (that is how they seemed to me). I managed to catch the words “hypertension, high blood pressure, partial stroke, liver infection, kidney shutting down… India, surgery, 100 million, a long road to recovery, less than 50% chance of the surgery being a success.”

He however wanted to run some more tests when I was more stable, an MRI scan to see if there was a tumor and a biopsy of the tissues of the liver and kidney to determine the extent of the damage to the kidney and liver. I had never been more scared in my life than at that moment. How? That question kept reverberating in my head. How could this happen? I ate healthy, exercised, my wife had a fitness studio and ensured that we all kept fit. I was the model man for healthy. How did I go from being healthy to been so sick in a couple of days? Why didn’t my body give me signs? How do I survive? Where do I go from here?

I shut my eyes hard, wishing it was all a nightmare, may be if I laid still it would all be a dream. I opened them slowly to still find myself confined to the hospital bed, my wife still distraught, half of my body still useless. “Is this the end Lord?” I think to myself. Different thoughts cross my mind. I remember the Bible passage “greater is the end of a thing than it’s beginning….” and I could almost swear I could hear the devil laughing at me. Oh, I could just imagine the tabloids having a field day “Multimillionaire loses all in a day” or “24 hours of calamities” or “The beginning of the Multimillionaire’s downfall” that should make a good Nollywood movie I muse sarcastically within me. I could imagine the tales that would begin to fly… they would probably conclude that I had done money rituals, and all these were a part of my bargain with the devil or a punishment for all my numerous sins. “but why?! Why Lord??! Why?” I sob within my spirit. A nurse comes to give me an injection…I feel the pain fade and sleep consume me……….

Yet sleep held no comfort, the demons I was facing followed me into my sleep. I dreamt I was locked in a cage inside a deep, fast-moving river, there was no key to unlock the cage and I couldn’t swim and was drowning. I screamed and screamed, but no one came to my aid and the instant before death took me, I woke up gasping for air. I kept waking and sleeping in fits and starts and on some days, fear held me bound and I could not sleep. My nightmares had officially started, and the dreams became a part of my daily existence. I lost so much weight during that period and became a shadow of myself.

I still had to do the tests that were to decide my fate. I had been battling with headaches and blurry visions and the doctor said it was part of the symptoms of brain cancer. I had spent 1 week in the hospital by then, finally the day came for the MRI scan. It was carried by 6:00am as I was not supposed to have eaten anything before the test like I had any appetite considering all I was facing. The whole process took about 45 minutes, I laid down on a table, a coil was placed around my head and the table moved into the tunnel. I have never been claustrophobic but inside that tunnel I felt so. I kept thinking: ‘this was not happening, I would wake up and it would all be a dream.’ After the scan, I was sedated just so I could get some rest.

In the afternoon, I had a renal and liver biopsy to determine the type of kidney disease I had. A thin biopsy needle was passed through my skin to remove kidney and liver tissue and carry out tests. The pain and discomfort I felt made me want to scream at the unfairness of the entire situation. After the tests, I was given medications and was told the results were going to be ready in a couple of days and all I had to do was rest and focus on getting better. Did I really hear the nurse say, ‘get better’? what was I getting better for, my children were gone, I had no job and I was slowly dying. What was there to live for I mused, and the answer came back to me: NOTHING!

My wife must have exhausted herself from crying as anytime I looked up all I could see was her swollen face and eyes red from pain. As I looked at her, I felt the worst was yet to come and I could not comfort her. The test was carried out on Monday and when the doctor came in that Friday morning, the gravity of the situation was etched in the lines on his forehead. There were no preambles, my heart beat increased, and I started sweating. I felt sick and I retched but nothing came up.

It’s cancer! I am sorry the doctor said.

My God, I have cancer, how? Tears streamed down my face and I felt so dejected and abandoned.

The doctor was still talking, and I had to listen. He gave a litany of all that was wrong with me. In his own words: ‘I am sorry, but you have glioblastoma multiforme, a fairly common type of brain cancer. The tests also revealed that you have benign tumors in your liver which thankfully are not cancerous and Chronic Kidney Disease which might require dialysis and a kidney transplant which are not readily available in the country. We also need to monitor your blood pressure and white cells count as the count needs to be high to effectively fight the cancer. I tuned out, but he continued. I am recommending four weeks of intense radiation therapy followed by removal of the tumor depending on the outcome of tests and a reduction in your blood pressure. Also, you would need to start treatment for the kidney disease, I suggest we start with dialysis immediately and raise the monies needed for a kidney transplant, the brain surgery and the liver surgery. We need to see a reduction in your blood pressure so as not to strain the muscles of your heart. There is need to watch out for seizures as they are part of the symptoms of brain cancer and could lead to death if not checked. I would be giving you Divalproex, to control the seizures. The drugs could lead to personality changes and slurred speech. The total cost should be within the range of 100 – 150 million given the magnitude of the treatment required and the cost of rehabilitation.

I cried till I was spent. Life as I knew was officially over. I thought of what I could do to raise the funds, I knew my medical insurance could not cover it. I wondered how God could bring me to this point after I had faithfully served him. He obviously didn’t care about me or maybe I had done something wrong and was being punished for it. I was discharged and asked to return in four days to start the radiation therapy and to carry out a dialysis.

I went home and on my second day at home, I had a seizure and was rushed to the hospital. Luckily, I got to the hospital on time and the doctor was able to control the seizures. He said I needed to do carry out another MRI scan immediately. I was so scared and the look on my wife’s face echoed my own fears. I was admitted and the next morning the results were out. It was as the doctor had feared, the tumor in my brain was growing aggressively and something had to be done urgently.

 

Thanks for sticking with us and reading. The story will hopefully come to an end next week until then stay with us. May God bless you all abundantly. Do follow us on all our social media handles @Godlywomenarising. Please drop a comment, like and share.

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The Story of One Man retold – 2

Hello lovely Family. We trust that you have anticipated the continuation of the story and we loved writing it too. We felt every pain and sigh (don’t worry there are no spoilers). We always hope that our posts inspire you to do better and live right with God. Now dig in.

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Oh, how tragedy struck!!

It started like a dream, a very bad dream!

My children were coming back home from school, they had called before boarding the flight and were excited about coming home. My wife was beyond herself with joy. Overdoing it in the kitchen, I mean we were expecting 4 kids home not our entire village! But what do I know… Women and their need to prepare extensively. I was happy too as we had not seen the kids in months. I had to tell her to hurry or find her way (I always threaten to leave her but never do, isn’t that the story of all men!)

“Oh Joy! At this rate the children will grow old waiting at the airport” I exclaim with something between admiration and resignation which earned me an eye rolling session. I get a funny feeling in my gut but brushed it off and rushed to the car with Joy still fumbling with the flower arrangements.

Let me pause to tell you about my . Joy and I wanted 4 children and that was exactly what we got. Two handsome boys and two beautiful girls (yes, two sets of twins). I have always wanted twins and was so happy that God granted my request (our request) not once but twice. We had our boys after 2 years of marriage as we wanted to spend time together and enjoy our marriage before we started a family (I know man proposes and God disposes, but God answered us just as we requested. Are we not so blessed); 4 years after we had our gorgeous boys we decided to try again, and God blessed us yet again with my princesses.  Everything I wanted, everything I needed God had given to me and our children meant everything to us.

The boys were finally graduating from the University and my princesses had also just finished their first year in the university and were coming home together to spend the holiday. They had decided on a big road trip and a fabulous holiday that I’m sure had plans of making my account balance blink but that’s why I work as hard as I do. If they don’t spend my money, who will? It’s finally going to be a full house again and we can’t wait. We finally leave the house and drive to the airport, we get there just in time (Lagos traffic and the stress but the thought of seeing my kids more than make up for it.)

We move towards the arrival section again and I have this funny feeling again, only this time my eyes are greeted with a funny sight. I see lots of people running helter-skelter, people crying and wailing. The feeling becomes fear, I should have prayed when I first had the feeling, but I didn’t, I had convinced myself that it was nothing probably just excitement. I tell myself that it could not be, a plane could not have crashed. It probably was not the plane my kids were on. No way could anything have happened to my angels but deep down when I thought about it later, I knew they were gone but I was in shock. My whole world had just come crashing down on me. I rush to find an attendant “the flight from London please?”. It was due to arrive 30 minutes ago” She looked at me with distant eyes like she could not bring herself to speak about the horror that my life was about to become. I was still trying to understand what was happening when we spotted my daughters’ best friend’s parents. We rush to greet them when they broke the news…. The plane had crashed just before landing and there were no survivors! Everything around me became distant. I lost every sense of feeling, barely saw my wife collapse in pain, barely felt the tears roll down my eyes, barely felt anything at all… and all at once the pain hit me! I remember screaming “Jesus! Jesus!! Oh God!!!!!! No!!!” My wife wouldn’t stop screaming and I had no words of comfort. How do I begin to comfort her when I was lost, lost in the nightmare that had suddenly become my life? I lost all 4 children…26 years gone in a few minutes. Just like that! Why me?! Why??

I have no idea how we got home but I found we had and there was more bad news (just like in the movies, troubles they say come in threes) somehow my company had folded up and I was out of a job. Really? Really???  I knew things were difficult but for them to be bankrupt and the company distressed was more than I could bear. I stared at the letter in my hands for so long and the only thought in my head was how do I cope. Yes, I had savings and a couple of investments in both real estate and stocks. I could start life again and then it dawned on that I had no children to work for and the next thing I knew I was in the hospital….

I had fainted, and my wife had rushed me to the hospital. The doctor came in and said he had ran a couple of tests and the results didn’t look good. All I could think of was how bad could it be when all I had worked for had vanished in the twinkle of an eye. The doctor took with his next words all hope of living that I had.

 

Stay tuned and just may be we will conclude next week. God bless you all abundantly.

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The Story of One Man retold

Hello lovely Family. Are you excited? I am. First, let us apologize for not posting for two weeks now. We are so sorry and we have no excuses. Please accept our apologies and we promise to do better. Moving on, we are bringing a new series and we trust that your lives and ours will be enriched by this. We are re-modelling bible stories to fit our modern day realities and struggles. Now sit down and enjoy the ride and as always we hope this inspires you to do better and live right with God.

 

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When I think of myself, I see a lot of things.

 

I see a person of integrity and great strength of Character. It is not boasting, it is simply being self-aware, you know that quote by Socrates: ‘Man know thyself, for an un-examined life is not worth living.’ Okay let me tell you a little secret, at the foundation of who I am is God and the fact that I have a wonderful Mother whose knees are constantly in prayers and supplication. My personality connotes a lot of things, it is pride in all I have achieved through God’s grace. It’s the confidence that radiates from knowing God has my back every single time. There is this peace that fills my heart, you know that passage in the bible Philippians 4:7 (And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus) even when difficulties arise.

 

Let me tell you a bit about myself:

I grew up in a family of 6. It was your typical Nigerian Family: father, mother and four children. I was the last child, pampered but not spoilt, yes I was disciplined when the need arose as I was quite mischievous . Laughter rang often in our house and I had this feeling of wholeness. Everything I needed to survive and thrive was given to me, sent to one of the best schools in the country. I close my eyes and the memories of my childhood are breathtakingly beautiful.

I grew up in a strong Christian background and was taught from childhood about Christ and his redeeming power. I came to know God for myself and accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior sometimes in my teens. Church for me was not just a routine activity, it was home and a place where I knew I would always find succor and refreshment for my soul. I had my undergraduate studies in Finance at one of the Top Ivy league schools; can you take a guess? It’s the University of Pennsylvania and my MBA at Harvard Business school. I graduated top of my class, yes Summa Cum Laude. I remember taking walks down the streets, reading at the library and all the numerous visits to the museum.

I came back to Nigeria after my MBA and served in the compulsory 1-year National Youth Service Corps. I was posted to Lagos and the three weeks orientation programme was fun. I got posted to one of the top investment banks in the country, the year flew by and I was retained. Imagine my excitement of not having to roam the streets of Lagos looking for a job. I was so happy; my mother’s prayers were working. I had heard the tales of the job seekers, the relentless sun beating down their backs, the hustle to get a job and the depression that followed each rejection mail and it made me realize how blessed I was. Life was all rosy and I never lacked for anything.

 

 

Now to the Present:

 

I am an investment Banker (I like the sound of it, very prestigious). I work at one of the top investment banks in the country.  I enjoy my work and the whole dealing with numbers appeal to me. I have taken some professional certifications and with steady promotions I was rightly placed on the corporate ladder to reaching the peak of my career. I often wondered what I would do if I decided to resign one day and it clicked, I loved teaching, I could become a lecturer. I had the requisite qualifications and if I didn’t have them all, I could get them. I love to read and travel and worship in church, yea you guessed right, I am in the choir. There is this thing about worship that is a balm to my soul, praising God through everything, through every trial and difficulties and through the good times. I am sure that you would probably say I have never witnessed any hardship and you would be right but then praise was the fastest way to God’s heart and I loved it.

Love found me sometimes in 2009 . I met my wife on social media. I can literally hear the wheels turning in your head. She commented on one of my tweets on Twitter and from then I was hooked; the intelligence, the humor in her words caught me by surprise. We started talking and the more I got to know her, the more I knew this was the one I was meant to spend the rest of my life with. I prayed and the peace I felt was the final confirmation I needed. I married one of the most amazing woman in the world if I do say so myself. She is a Christ lover and worker in the church, an entrepreneur, a fitness expert and operates a fitness and dance studio for kids and teens. I am often left amazed by how she manages to juggle all of these and remains calm. I married God’s best for me and I can say she is the bone of my bone, the flesh of my flesh, the woman after God’s heart and the love of my life. We are blessed with four children, two set of twins exactly what I prayed for. I have all I need, and God still blesses me with more. My children are the light of my world and we are committed to training them up in the way of God. I give them the best in life and at the center of our home is God ruling over us all. I have my own home in Lekki, had investments (money market, mutual funds, real estate, stocks, bonds, name it). I even have a farm, someone had told me that I could invest in them plus it felt good to eat fresh farm food. Things were so perfect, everything I touched seemed to turn to gold and I felt God’s hands at work. Life was so perfect and nothing could go wrong.

Then tragedy struck.

 

Do you want to know what happened? Then keep a date with us next week Monday.

Do follow us on all our social media handles @Godlywomenarising and don’t forget that God loves you even more than you can ever imagine or comprehend. God bless you all.

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