The operation took 7.5 hours, and the tumor was completely removed. So the operation itself was a success.
Still under narcosis, I was transferred to a new center for surgical medicine at the same hospital. The center had opened just three weeks before, and I was the one who had planned most of the interior furnishings. I was to spend a few days in the intensive care unit until the swelling around the wounds in my mouth had gone down. That was the plan, anyway. But things didn't work out that way. I developed severe inflammation with a high fever, severe circulatory problems, difficulty breathing, and loss of consciousness.
After a few days the doctors had tried to wake me up, but that didn't work. That's when I needed a respiratory machine. In the meantime a high fever had set in, and the doctors induced an artificial coma. I had a tracheostomy, and a pipe was inserted.
On 25 April, they woke me up again. Hour by hour, the staff gradually moved me into a sitting position and took me off the respiratory machine so that I could start breathing on my own again. I still was not able to stand or walk; I would have to learn how to do that again. After five days I was transferred back to the unit of the doctor who had operated on me. I was getting better, but still had to stay there two more weeks before being transferred to a rehabilitation center. During rehab I also received psychological treatment, because I had fallen into a deep depression.
I'm deeply grateful to all the doctors and nurses who helped me to overcome this disease and get back to health. I weigh only half what I used to – 70kg (154 pounds), down from 140kg (308 pounds), which of course has a lot of benefits. I've totally recovered from diabetes and am a completely new person. I've also changed the way I eat, and have become a vegan. I've stopped smoking and drinking alcohol completely. So in many ways I've become a new person, and feel that God has given me a new life.
* name changed
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