Strap yourself in because this is a sad story. But it’s a sad story with an great ending!
Hi! It’s Charluxx.
Apart from almost dying in a car accident when I was 19, then losing my son years later. Everything was relatively fine for me until 2012. I had raced cars, worked for big companies, become a graphic designer, an art director, a teacher, a software developer, and so much more. I worked mostly in communications. How to reach people. How to facilitate communication with each other. I drew from a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology, to analyze the world and try to make sense of it. I felt relatively accomplished.
Then my world turned upside down. I was living happily in Vancouver, I place I love and to whom my heart belongs to. One day—through Facebook—I fell in love all over with a childhood friend whom I’d had a crush on since I was nine. We met in Tunisia. Salam Tunisian readers!
I sold ninety percent of my belongings, left Vancouver with my kayaks, but more importantly with my motorcycle—the joy of my life, my own personal black and red rocket ship: a 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R 1000cc of unbridled force (seriously, look it up!)—to be with her.
She broke my heart.
But it did so much more to me. After two months I couldn’t find employment. Not a single reply from dozens of sent résumés. I had to sell my motorcycle. I was disconnect from the world, I was alone. Ironic because part of my reasoning for moving back to Quebec was to be closer to my family. I had been gone for twenty years. And now, surrounded by said family, I was the loneliest I had ever been. I found work in restaurants, a world I knew next to nothing about. The it hit me, Depression, with a big D. Not good.
Three annus horribilis later, I had worked a plan to go back to Vancouver.
In the days leading to my departure (already had my one-way ticket) I had a call from an old family friend, she had a big job for me, working for a union. Big salary. Took the job. Hated it... I am so not office person material!
However, it did mean that I was able to purchase and totally pay for—within a year!—a brand new 2014 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R. Same motorcycle as the previous one, but black and green. That was the reason I took the job. Period. I was back on my wheels, my little world, my happy place. Until some scumbags stole my motorcycle... and I was fired. In the same month.
I had to leave my apartment in Montreal. Sad. Put most of my belongings in storage and moved in with Isabelle in a happy place in the country with a forest for a backyard. That was really good.
Then two things happened one after the other: I had to fight the insurance company tooth and nails for months to get the money owed me to purchase a new motorcycle, that broke me... then I got cancer. The Big C. Definitely not good.
I’m lying down in a CT Scan machine, with radioactive liquid running in my veins, while the news breaks on the radio that Corno a famous Montreal painter just passed away from throat cancer... the very reason I’m strapped in this tube for. Not a good start.
For two months I have to go five days a week to a Hospital an hour away from home, get bolted to a radiation therapy machine via a molded upper torso and face mask, to get the maximum amount of radiation humanly tolerated... and there's also chemotherapy.
Now, let's not belittle this, chemotherapy is hard. The first time, not so bad, but the arm into which the cisplatin was injected reacts, I get thrombosis and my artery flames up. Pain. I get through that. The second dose of chemotherapy wasn’t as pleasant, I spent almost two weeks in the hospital, touch and go. My potassium levels were so low they had to inject me with what can only be described as liquid fire in slow intravenous drips for days on end. I had better days.
Because the cancer was in my throat, and for lack of better terms “having it microwaved to a crisp” along with the side effects of chemotherapy, I couldn't eat anymore... For two weeks. Twenty eight kilos lost later, I had a tube inserted in my nose that went directly to my stomach, so I could feed myself protein drinks... for three months. Also not enjoyable.
In the end: cancer gone... but so are my salivary glands (who got "nuked" out of existence, along with my uvula), sense of taste gone, as well as sensations in my extremities. I also got fired—during my treatments!—from the restaurant I worked at.
The sense of taste is what plays with your mind the most. For example, you see a strawberry, your brain tells you what it tastes like, but your tastebuds send a completely different message back. It tastes like nothing you've ever had. It really messes with your mind. Imagine applying that to everything you eat.
It took two years for my tastes to come back and stabilized to about fifty percent of what they were, except for sugar, that still tastes nasty and... salty. I cannot enjoy anything sweet anymore. Although not such a bad thing in our over sugared North American society.
I had to go back to work in a kitchen... which gave me tinnitus because my ears were weakened.
Ironically, no unions in kitchen, so I’m left, with no recourse, with a constant ringing in my ears because of a lousy low paying survival job.
But, and this is a big but: I’M ALIVE!
Being forced to rest allowed me to pick up on my dream of becoming a musician. I most likely would not have the time/chance/guts, to follow my Destiny (a plug for my own song!) so that worked out for the best!
After all that, I’m so grateful to still be here, happy and healthy. A friend of mine, diagnosed around the same time, didn’t make it through, RIP Stephanie.
The moral of this story?
Don’t wait for life to strike in order to take action. Don’t hold back on your dreams or postpone your true calling.
Just remember this: the safe option can fail too, take the risk.
Thank you reading my story and stay groovy my friends.
Peace and Love.