I was sitting in the middle of Prêt A Manger, waiting for this stupid ordeal to be over. Having cancer sucked, that wasn't hard to realise, but what was harder to realise was that that I actually had bowel cancer. I mean, I ate fairly healthily; I played football with my nephew every week... What was I doing wrong? I hadn’t had the heart to tell my wife or kids, this information I had just gained would be too much for them. A small tear started to escape from my cheek. Was I actually going to die? I just realised that I would never see any of my sons get married, I would never have grandchildren, I would never get to renew my vows to the woman I loved. I wasn’t feeling so fond of drinking the coffee in front of me anymore,this is my life now, I thought.
I sat up as I saw a young man walked through the door as the small bell above chimed, signalling his arrival. He flattened his shirt down, I checked outside and it did seem fairly blustery that day. He noticed me looking like the glummest one there and walked over to my table. I wasn’t sure whether to believe this or not, he looked 19, probably no older than 23. I was 49 for christ’s sake! I had a wife and 3 kids, one of them in University already. Didn’t I deserve someone a little more, mature? He held out his hand to me and smiled but it took me a little while to accept the offer.
“Hi there. You must be Gregory I presume? Can I call you Greg?”
“Umm, yeah, sure, I guess.” He then sat down on the remaining available seat across the table; I still wasn’t sure whether to take him seriously or not.
“So, you have bowel cancer is it? This’ll be a synch.” He grinned and brought out some papers from his bag next to him.
“Umm, I’m still a bit curious about, well, how you can actually cure me. My doctor says it looked quite serious. And the only reason why I’m doing this is because a friend of my wife’s recommended you, not that I want to mean offense. And the only reason why she found out -“ He held out a hand to stop me.
“No, no that’s okay. I understand that you may not want to take advice from someone who’s just come out of Uni. But let me tell you that my methods aren’t like anyone else’s. I don’t believe in drugs and radiation, I believe in nutrition and mental and spiritual well-being and although it may not sound very impressive, you must understand that I wouldn’t follow my own knowledge if I knew it didn’t work. Now here is my phone number, I want you to call me if you have any serious pain, if your doctor is trying to push on any unnecessary treatment or if you just want someone to talk to about your cancer. Please trust me when I say for the next few months my life will be dedicated to healing you.” He hushed his tone when he started to mention cancer, I was starting to realise how considerate and serious this man was.
“Now for the mo I just want you to read the information I have on nutrition and spiritual well-being, then next week we will meet in a place of your choice and play a sport. Football or something, doesn’t matter what. It’s just to give you the time to consider what my methods are really all about. I would prefer this didn’t spread amongst your family and friends though. If this information got out into the public eye, there would be serious consequences for me.” He looked quite stern then, now I was almost scared.
“Because it’s that good.” He grinned devishly as he picked up his briefcase.
“One bit of advice, the best way to achieve total spiritual well-being is to enjoy each day as though it was your last, although, when I’m done with you, you’ll have the rest of your life to enjoy.” He smiled reassuringly at me for the last time that day. I raised my hand to raise goodbye but felt awkward doing so. Had I just decided to trust this stranger just like that? Despite my confusion I started to feel a small comfort down somewhere near my stomach, or was that my bowel claiming days from my life every time I breathed?