It was July 3rd and I was in Sydney recovering from DJing at my friend’s 21st Birthday the night before. (Yes, I’m a normal human as well and do drink on the odd occasion) feeling fairly average as we did we decided to go out and check out what Sydney had to offer on a warm Sunday afternoon – still feeling rather sick but I put up with it and enjoyed the sunshine.

cancer(Yeah, that’s me, DJing from the kitchen bench!)

So I fly home that night reminding myself I have to be up at 5:30 the next morning for a full 13 hour day at work. So up I get bright and early, feeling worse than I did yesterday thinking ‘There’s definitely something wrong here, I didn’t drink THAT much!’

So anyway off I go to work to train my clients – I managed to survive the first 5 hours ok, good thing it went by quickly. However, lunchtime comes around and I’m sitting on a chair because I just can’t move! I’m holding my stomach thinking it’s going to explode so trusty mum comes to pick me up and onward to my GP I go.

After careful examination he’s sure it’s my appendix so sends me off to the surgeon to get checked out, oh by the way I’m in so much agony if I move an inch I practically scream. What felt like hours in the car (apparently only 15 minutes) we arrive at the surgeon’s rooms and he checks me out. ‘There’s some kind of mass here at the base of your ribs so I will have to operate..tomorrow’

What the?? Tomorrow?? You’re kidding??? He sends me home, no pain killers, nothing. While I can honestly say I don’t remember that night before the surgery from what I’ve been told it was a pretty nasty night for the whole family. L

So next morning comes and I’m waiting for my surgery at 6am when I should be out training clients, how inconvenient! Anyway finally in the operating room by 9am for lights out. I wake up at 2:30pm where all I can remember is this:

Me: What’s wrong?                                                                                                                                 Mum: You have cancer                                                                                                                          Me: Cool                                                                                                                                                     And then I pass out again. Great response I thought!

I have a vague recollection of my cousin and brother coming to see me that day; they said they were there so I believe them given that I was full of morphine.

3 days later I’m allowed to go home so I w.a.l.k ever so slowly to the car (about 150m away took 20 minutes from memory) with a nice big scar from my ribs all the way down, so yeah, surprisingly difficult to walk (thank god for walking sticks!) and head home to recover.

One thing I will say right here is that my friends are amazing. It actually brings a tear to my eye thinking how fantastic they all were coming to visit me and take me out to the movies, lunch, whatever it was. So if you guys are reading this – you rock! J

2 weeks down the track I begin my chemotherapy treatment; it’s really not as scary as it sounds. All I had to do was sit there for 6-7 hours 5 days in a row every 3 weeks. Usually the way it worked was I felt fine for the first 2 days then the last 3 days of the cycle I definitely didn’t like, had a few days where I really didn’t want to go in at all so my parents had to drag me to the car, fun mornings those ones!

The best day for me was Friday, not just because it was the last day of treatment but because every Friday they gave me a drug which made me eat a lot of food and given that I hadn’t eaten much during the 5 day cycle I had some making up to do! Most Fridays consisted of 2 massive roast sandwiches with the lot and plenty of water. Usually enough food for 2 meals, but not for this hungry boy as I was eating my next meal by the time I got home an hour laterJ

These cycles went on for 3 months, getting used to it was easy enough it was just hard structuring anything around it so my life was on hold at that point as I was just concentrating on my recovery. Of course whenever I could I went out to enjoy some fresh air or catch up with friends, but unfortunately most of the time was resting as I had no energy for anything.

(Me with my doctor (right) accepting a gift from Sports Bet for Peter McCallum Hospital in 2007)cancer

Finally my last treatment came around and I walked out of Peter McCallum a very happy boy. I had made some great friendships with all my nurses and a few other patients who I planned to keep in contact with, which did last a little while.

However, the journey wasn’t over yet. I only had a month break before I had to go in for surgery again to remove all the left over ‘stuff’ to clean out my system completely.

This surgery was supposed to go for 6-7 hours so I knew afterwards would definitely be a struggle! I guess I was one of the lucky ones because it only went for 4 hoursJ no complications, no hassles – just in and out. Now all I had to do was learn my walking skills again, long road ahead.

I remember the first time I got out of the bed – 3 days later. I could only move my legs about half a foot at a time while I was leaning all my body weight on a walking frame. Everything hurt – coughing was the worst. Just imagine having your stomach ripped open and then coughing making your abdomen contract, yes that’s right – OUCH! And I’m sure you get the idea about other bodily functions as well, not fun let me tell you!

So here I was again, on the recovery stage – friends still rocked coming to visit and take me out when I was up for it, I got to see transformers 3 times at the movies in 2 weeks – still my favourite movie to this day:)

So what’s my point to ranmbling on about all this?

After everything I had been through I was actually grateful I went through it all. Why? Because it made me realize what’s important in life – health and happiness. Without these 2 driving forces in life there is no real desire to strive and achieve what we want out of life.

This journey of mine has just further reinforced that I want to help as many people as I can become fit and healthy in their own way.

Thank you for reading my story, follow the link to find out how A2Z Personal Training can help you with your health and fitness goals.

To a happier and healthier you,

Andrew Zagami

A2Z Personal Training


About the author: Andrew is a fitness freak, eating machine who does whatever he can to help people with their health and fitness goals. If you like what you read you can access my free report here and if you want to check out more about my services click here