How I Got Here

Posted on July 11th, 2007 by Cam.
Categories: .

Briefly, I was sick quite a bit in 2006. I was sick for about 3 months with chest infections, the flu, numerous back problems and I just couldn’t shake them.  I went to China for a while and it was there that I started to feel better (over the counter medications – I was like a child in a candy store, or my mum in a chemist).

In the months following our return, I didn’t feel that bad. I had a few niggly things, mainly to do with back problems, but nothing really out of the ordinary.

We went away camping with friends in March. On the way back from the trip I noticed that there was a tender bump on my sternum about the size of a 20cent piece that was a bit painful. This pain doubled each day for about a week, as did the size of the swelling.

I went to one doctor the following week who believed it was my back and sent me for x-rays and blood tests for infection. Nothing showed up on either. So we gave it time to settle down. I couldn’t really do any physical work at this time so I started developing an education-based website that didn’t require too much moving.

As the pain didn’t subside, I got an opinion from a Chiro, Physio and Natural Therapist, but none of them had seen anything like it. I have to say though that they all did fantastic jobs in their treatment of me.

Four months after my original pain, it got too much. I went to another doctor just to get a referral to anyone who could help. This doctor had seen something similar and suspected arthritis. He referred me to a fantastic specialist who sent me for further testing- an aspiration of the sternum under CT scan.

The CT scan and procedure went very well, and I cannot say enough about the medical treatment I have received. During the procedure though, a mass appeared within the sternum. Nothing was said at the time, but the next day I got the call from the specialist asking me to go in for some more blood (my 4th batch) and urine tests.

I wrote down what they were testing for and that night we researched what the tests were for. One of the tests was for the Bence Jones Protein which is often present in Myeloma patients. This is when we started to see the severity of the situation.

This all happened on a Thursday evening. My wife at the time, Elizabeth, and I kept it to ourselves, having moments of shock and tears. I told a few close friends what was going on. We were told that if the results were something to be worried about, we would get a call over the weekend, so it was a very emotionally draining weekend. My appointment with the specialist was not until the Tuesday.
Sunday evening, we told those in our church group, and then decided to tell my parents and sisters. Nothing was confirmed at this stage, it was just to let them know that the doctors were specifically testing me for a particular cancer and that we would find out on Tuesday.

At 4:40pm on Tuesday the 3rd of July, it was confirmed I had a serious cancer and that is had destroyed a significant part of my sternum. The family came over that night and we were just in shock. We ate, cried and talked the details through. I couldn’t tell my family over the phone. Carms had to call Rach to tell her as I was in no state to talk.

This is how I began this journey.

10 comments.

philippa lindsell

Comment on July 11th, 2007.

Hey Cam, thanks for all this information and willingness to share this amazing journey so openly. We are blown away by your and Elizabeths strength.
philly and ollie

john

Comment on July 14th, 2007.

You amaze me…Where did your strength come from? It must be from your mum, or maybe God has played a bigger part in all this than we give Him credit for. I’ll go for the latter as I know your mum pretty well and while she is a very strong lady, she is no match for God.
When you were a kid, you were known as ‘John’s son’, Now that you are older, I’m known as ‘Cam’s dad’. That is something that I’m pretty proud to be known as. We, (your mum and your dad, are pretty chuffed to be able to walk beside you on this journey, and for the results, we will continue to give praise to God. Psalm 121.
Dad.

Ruth and Geoff

Comment on July 23rd, 2007.

Hi Cam and Elizabeth,
I must admit that coming to this blogsite has taken some willpower. Didn’t want to read what we knew was on it. Thanks for making it available though; it is life in pain, and we all get that. Your particular pain though, is outside the acceptable and we grieve and grieve that you have to have it. Praying for peace to prevail in your home and when you share this with your friends. You are a beautiful (boy) and we treasure you.

Julie

Comment on July 24th, 2007.

I am not sure what to say except thank you for your strength and candid information. My mother may have this disease…..we will find out July 31. I look forward to your entries :’) Bless you.

Tracy

Comment on July 25th, 2007.

I pray for you to recieve the strength to fight this and your family the strength to support you in the battle you face.
God bless

Matthew

Comment on July 27th, 2007.

Hi Cam,
Its Matt
Im so sorry to here about everything thats happened to you, i was shocked to here it when brooke told me.
I must say i am really amazed at your strength and willpower.

I hope to see you soon
Stay Strong :]

Steph

Comment on July 27th, 2007.

Hey Mr Harris (cam =])

It was such a shock to hear about this. But you have the most amazing will power and faith.
I know you will come through this, because you have God on your side.
And it was from you that I learnt this.
Year 8 Christian Living taught me more about the incredible power of God than I have ever been able to understand.

God Bless.
Steph Farrell

SonChol

Comment on July 28th, 2007.

Hay Cam
I was TOTALLY surprised when I heard the news…you were always so lively and fit, I mean all those times at inspirate and that you were always trying new things and being so friendly (even though I wasnt the best person to get along with)
when I was told about the cancer I was gobsmacked…how could someone who had helped and taught so many kids get this in return, its just not fair.
I always ask myself why are the people who are nicest in this world always get hurt the worst? this question still hasnt been answered, but I know out of all the people I know YOU can get through this, you have all of us…the inspirate guys, the people you taught at Mundaring Christian and family members
Its really not fair that this happened to you Cam…I wished I’d hung out and appreciated your attention you gave to me and all the other people you have met…
You will get through this…of this I have no doubt

you are awesome man, I’m so happy to have met and talked with you
SonChol

Brittany Kember

Comment on July 31st, 2007.

Mr Harris,
Your so amazing!, And you made me Cry.
I really, really hope you get Better.
We all have faith in you!
Hang in there.
Love always Britt xx

Xabier

Comment on April 4th, 2008.

Hi Cam,

Best reggards from the Basque Country.
Go for it!
Xabier (international climbing staff camp greenville)

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