Many of us unwittingly go about our merry lives as I have done, then the wheels fall off and we wonder why? I certainly did when pimple like sores started to appear on my body. I love travelling, regularly visiting new counties to meet the people and experience their culture. Christmas 1990 was no exception; I had just come back from one of those all-expense paid company holidays in Thailand. I returned to Australia and reunited with my work team who had all become good friends. We had travelled, worked, ate, and lived together for the best part of 3 years.
I noticed the sores, much like overgrown pimples popping up on my arms and legs, then thinking, ‘did I catch something?’ I visited the local doctor who said you have a bit of acne and proceeded to prescribe some acne cream. Lesson 1 – Always get a second opinion!
The cream did clear up the overgrown pimples only to have them pop up in other locations. It was early one summer morning when we were planning on travelling up the Queensland coast to our next town to work, when I thought I might just pop into the outpatients’ section of the hospital to see what they thought of my sores. The attending doctor promptly said, you have a skin reaction and prescribed a cortisone cream, assuring me the sores would start to clear up in a week and they were not acne. Lesson 2 – Half the time doctors are only guessing what is wrong!
Well, that did not work either. I went to another doctor in Cairns who said, I had a skin condition, and he prescribed the same acne cream I had before. I decided to see a skin specialist who diagnosed Basel Cell Carcinoma (BCC) on my chest near my right shoulder, insisting I have it removed immediately at Cairns base hospital. He suggested I continue using the cortisone cream, as it might take a bit longer with my skin type to work. The skin cancer was removed a couple of days later, the surgeon took about an inch of flesh with it, so he did not miss any of it. Nobody at the hospital was too phased about my sores since I had some cream to put on them, no investigation, no blood tests.
Medical treatments and doctor’s knowledge about the body has advanced incredibly over the past several decades, there is no substitute for hospital treatment for severe injury or acute illness treatments, however the fact remains, we are responsible for our health and wellbeing.
After a few weeks working in Cairns, we were discussing over an ‘all you can eat’ seafood feast at Charlies, what town will we go to next. After drinking too much and eating until we could hardly move, again, this practice of excess was too common, we ventured along the Esplanade to our accommodation. I had the habit of putting a map up and asking someone to throw a dart at it to pick our next town. When a town was in a different state or an unreasonable distance, I would veto the result and select someone else to throw the dart, asking them to try to get somewhere a bit closer to where we currently were, and somewhere we had not worked for a while.
Simone threw the dart and it landed at the top of Cape York. Everyone in the room erupted with excitement. Not many towns between Cairns and the tip of Australia, therefore the company would not like a decision to go there, assuming lower sales. I still had my sores coming up on my arms, legs and now torso, but I was getting used to them, and the cream did help them go away for a time. I exclaimed without hesitation, let’s do it! We had done very well in Cairns, we would see the Cape, working along the way. The company calls our team ‘Bush Wonders’ as I had the habit of going off track to explore remote locations. The company respected my decisions as my team often met or exceeded sales targets.
Travelling up the Cape was a once in a lifetime opportunity for the team, so we gathered supplies, food, beer, water, and off we went, we all committed we would approach every potential customer along the way. Life was fantastic, I was happy, I thought I was healthy, and had the finances to do whatever I wanted. We maintained our sales targets all the way until leaving Weipa, to enjoy a 2-week holiday to the tip of Australia and back.
I threw the next dart at the map when we returned to Cairns. We were going to Mount Isa, a mining town along the way to the Northern Territory. When we reached Mount Isa, we settled into some comfortable accommodation, then planned how we would work in the town. This was in May 1991, and when my health crisis really started to ramp up. They say when you lose your health, you eventually lose everything you value. If you are not able to get your health back, life is not so good anymore. Pain, sickness, and mobility restriction completely hamper the once free and unrestricted use of time, talents, and resources. This is not a place you want to be, and if you are there, you know, it is not a place you want to stay.
I recovered from bowel cancer and septicaemia that could have resulted in systemic organ failure and death. All thanks to a random dart and doctor I visited in Mount Isa, who literally turned my life around health wise, without surgery or harmful drugs. I have spent the last 30 years learning about the human body, what happened to me, why, and how I recovered completely in such a short time. Lesson 3 – Never underestimate the power of the throw of a dart!
Christopher Vakas is now a credentialed public health professional who teaches, speaks, and motivates people to live healthier fuller lives. Chris reveals inspiring insights from personal experience, knowledge, and research, about how our environment, biology and emotions impact our health. The Nine Laws of Health is a reference book that will show you exactly how the body heals itself. The body’s correct and natural state is high energy, vitality, and ideal weight, without disease. This is not complicated; all the fluff is out, and the myths are busted. It is direct, clear, and works for everyone who learns the laws and applies them in their life.
Order your copy today from Wellbeing Management Institute at wm.com.au/learn or any good bookstore.