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Good Morning Angels: One couple's fight for survival

This is the story of one couple who are not only fighting for their love, but for survival too!

image couple GMA image in love

GOOD MORNING ANGELS 23 AUGUST 2017 (RUAN & GERALDINE/SPAR)

BACKGROUND:

Ruan (28) and Geraldine (27) have been married for less than a year. They are head-over-heels in love with one another, as newlyweds should be. They were in the same high school in Krugersdorp and he was the rugby playing jock everyone knew. She was a shy, pretty nerd - a year younger, that he didn’t even notice.

He played rugby overseas and then they met up at varsity - where he more than noticed her - Ruan fell deeply in love with Geraldine.

He proposed to her in January 2016 and she said "yes". Their lives were on a high and they were looking forward to their bright future together.

Six months later, just three months before their big wedding day, Ruan and Geraldine got news that changed their lives. Ruan was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer. Despite a 'death sentence' that gave him two months to live, Ruan and Geraldine decided to fight the odds. They got married on the 10th of October 2016. 

With two months to go before their first anniversary, Ruan is still fighting on with Geraldine by his side. He says he’s fighting for her. She says there is nowhere she would rather be than by his side. Together, Ruan and Geraldine are fighting for their life as Mr and Mrs Posthumus.

They have a medical aid, but it does not cover all his treatment.

They have a shortfall of R30,000 x 8 for chemo (a total of R240,000), but they stand strong and give it their all. Read Ruan’s email to Good Morning Angels below. 

SPONSORS:

ANGEL 1: Retha Ingenbleek, Spar North Rand

SPONSORING: Spar will donate R50,000 towards the cost of Ruan’s medical treatment

ANGEL 2: Herman van Tonder from Mbizi Game Lodge and Spa

SPONSORING: A weekend in a chalet for Ruan and Geraldine at Mbizi Game Lodge and Spa in Bela-Bela.

ruan chemo treatment image

THE ORIGINAL MAIL RUAN WROTE TELLING THEIR STORY UP TO NOW: 

Our story so far ...

It started on the 9th of January 2016, I made the best decision in my life, I asked my best friend Geraldine to marry me, excited and nervous, I went down on my knee and she said yes, our lives were going to be amazing, we had a small place together, working hard and building our successes, my life was amazing, I was healthy and fit, a real fitness junky, my wife was my partner in crime and I love her so much.

A few days after my birthday in March I started feeling a bit bloated, but just like it came it disappeared as well, in May the bloatedness was back, and was painful, but I pushed through, still training every day, working hard and trying to help my wife with the wedding arrangements, even though she did everything on her own… at the end of May, I couldn’t handle the pain anymore and went to my GP, he diagnosed me with a stomach ulcer, happy to finally be over this and have an answer.

June came and went, but no change and was just getting worst, so I went to a specialist surgeon, as I know that he can give me better and more information, so on the 20th July I went to see the specialist, after his investigation, I was told to go straight to the Radiologist for a Ultrasound and schedule a CT Scan, the 22nd I was back at the hospital for my CT Scan, after receiving the results back, I went back to my specialist so that he can tell me what’s wrong, seeing as it was never a stomach ulcer, after reading through my results he had an extremely vary look on his face. 

So on the 22nd of July they gave me the news that I have Colon Cancer and would have to come back to do a colonoscopy to find out how severe the cancer was, that afternoon I got in my car, phoned my wife and told her what just happened, she burst out in tears, I laughed and said they are crazy, and if its true I will not stop fighting, as we still have to get married and already paid so much for the venue…I returned on the 25th of July with my wife for my Colonoscopy, after the procedure, I was told that it is more severe than they thought, they couldn’t get the camera in the colon as the cancer caused major obstructions, COLON CANCER was real now…

We were referred to another Doctor to discuss the procedure of a stent to help that the cancer doesn’t obstruct the colon fully, on the 29th of July I was once again back in hospital to yet again prep for surgery…the only thing is I am the one being operated on…again…now we had to think of what the steps will be going forward, I knew we were looking at chemotherapy, so on the 2nd of August I had to meet up with the Liver Specialist (Prof). The man with the plan…seeing as the cancer metastatic to my Liver(spread to my liver) the Prof had to give the best treatment plan, after talking to him after a while, and discussing treatment plans he asked me if he could be honest, I replied with yes, he said that this is not going to be an easy road and wouldn’t recommend going forward with the wedding, he said that I am in a very bad state and would be lucky if I survive the next two months and that he honestly hopes that I will return to see him again…I was broken and my wife was in pieces, but I told her to keep arranging our wedding cause I will not give up, she is the love of my life…

On the 8th of August was my first meeting with my oncologist, straight and honest man, telling me that through all the reports and results it doesn’t look to good for me, I went from 104KG fitness junky to 72KG in a few weeks, and that he is worried that I will not make our wedding, I told him that I will make the wedding, it’s my wedding and my promise to my wife, he smiled and said well let’s do it…

CEA marks were at 36988 when I started with chemo.

Chemotherapy as follow:

·       Xeloda (Covered)

·       Cetuximab (Covered)

·       Erbitux (Not Covered – R30 000 per Session)

On the 15th of August I had to be back at hospital for another operation, this time it was to give me a port so that the chemo will go through the port and not straight into smaller veins…D-Day has arrived, the 18th of August it was time for my first chemotherapy session, and it would be the first of 8 sessions, and long sessions as my first session was from 8am to 4pm and from there on is was 8am to 2pm…long days, but I was never alone, my wife would take the day off from work every time just to make sure that I am fine, she showed me how to be strong when I was at my weakest, seeing as my first chemo session I was 60.5KG, I was weak, but my wife kept me strong and through it all still worked and arranged our wedding all by herself. 

On the 4th of October I was back for yet another chemo session, the only thing that made this day different was that it was 4 days before our wedding date, every one told us to cancel, we lost friends on the way and on this journey, Dr’s said I would feel weak and tired on our wedding day…the morning of our big day was just amazing, I knew that today I was going to marry the strongest women in the world, my pillar and my whole world, I was going to marry my best friend, not once was I affected by chemo, and the only side effects I had was major skin breakout, and on that day it was minimum, it was amazing, I had no pain and had energy for days…I was my old self…well skinny old self, hehehe… so on the 8th of October we were married, and what a great and emotional day, it was AMAZING…

On the 20th of March 2017 it was time to see the professor again to discuss the plans moving forward with treatment, so we discussed the possibility of a liver transplant, but will not be possible if we don’t remove the Primer(Colon) first. On the 2nd of May it was prepping time again, but this was bigger and more risky than all the previous operations, seeing as a part of my colon will have to be removed with my stent, so on the 3rd of May was my operation date, 5 and half hours later in the ICU, they had to remove 30cm of my Colon and 1/8 of my bladder seeing as it was worse than they expected as my stent caused scare tissue in my colon and effected my bladder, so on the 23rd of May I saw my surgeon again and told me that he is very happy with my fast recovery and great results, on the 24th of May I say my Oncologist  told me that he is impressed with my results, but we will have to start with chemo again before we can even think of liver transplant seeing as we still have to keep the liver in good shape for the time being.

After all my sessions, funds dried up, credit cards maxed out and personal loans on both our names at max and debt to our ears, it was not over, now we have to do chemo again, so we are trying to get everyone together to help raise the money through support and fundraisers, but no luck so far, and all I want to do is start living again and build a future with my wife. So after all the operations and tests my next Chemo session will start on the 1 of August 2017.

So here we go again…

Cost for 8 chemo sessions =R30 000 x 8 = R240 000 (not covered by medical aid)

Cost for Liver transplant =R1,200 000 (not knowing what will be covered by medical aid as yet, but this is worst case scenario)

So this is our story so far and our fight.

I will BEG, BORROW and STEAL but I will not give up, I want to live for my wife, I want a future and I want to help those in the same position as me when I do have the chance.

Kind regards,

Ruan & Geraldine Posthumus

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