Black Immigrant Daily News
A 28-year cancer survivor wants those who may be battling the disease to know it is not a death sentence.
And to make sure that people truly understand what his life has been like, Ian Carrington not only chronicled his own harrowing battle against the disease but how he emerged victorious.
Listen to your body. Our bodies talk to us every day
“A lot of people have a negative view of cancer, as I did. Prior to being ill, I always associated cancer with death. I subsequently learned that there are a lot of people who survive it but a lot of people are not aware of that so I thought I should publish a book and tell my story,” the cancer survivor told Loop.
The self-published book, which was officially launched in November 2022, was written over the course of approximately 10 years, with Carrington admitting that he took several breaks while penning it. But he never gave up because, according to him, sharing his personal experience with cancer would be useful to those presently battling the disease.
Carrington, now a retiree, but who resided in the USA previously, was on-site at the offices of Cancer Support Services over the weekend as the first PSA screening exercise for 2023 got underway. The day’s exercise saw several males – over 250 – turning up to be tested. When Loop chatted with Carrington, he was promoting his book, An Unexpected Challenge: My Battle with Cancer, on World Cancer Day.
“Twenty-eight years ago, I had a confrontation with cancer and I thought that I should share my story, looking at the impact on myself, my family…the methods I used to heal and perhaps most importantly, the lessons I learned from the process,” he told Loop.
However, while the screening on the day was geared toward men, he stated that his particular type of cancer was not specific to men. He revealed that he had had Leiomyosarcoma, which had attached itself to his kidney and so the experience which he shared in the book was relevant to both sexes.
Carrington signing his book at the PSA Screening exercise last Saturday at the offices of Cancer Support Services
Take heart in the fact that there are a lot of people who survive it
After his encounter with cancer, Carrington advises individuals to pay apt attention to their bodies.
“Listen to your body. Our bodies talk to us every day and we know what our body feels like when things are ‘normal’ therefore we know what our body feels like when something is not quite right,” he cautioned.
While Carrington didn’t outright ignore his symptoms, he confessed that he attempted to explain the symptoms away as they manifested.
“I wanted to come up with an explanation that meant I wasn’t really that sick…but our bodies talk to us. So one of the lessons is, listen to your body and when you are getting a signal from your body, listen to it.”
For those who may be in a battle of their own with cancer, Carrington encouraged them to “fight the fight”.
“Take heart in the fact that there are a lot of people who survive it. Secondly, read as much as you can about the specific cancer that you have. Try, if possible, to get yourself into a positive reinforcing environment…and just believe that there will be a tomorrow and you will have a good outcome,” he advised.
The publication is available at the UWI bookstore and the Barbados Library Service. It can also be found at First Fitness Gym, Surfside Wellness Centre and at the Cancer Support Services offices at Dayrells Road in Christ Church.