CANCER can have a devastating impact on families - but one sufferer thinks his illness could have been the ‘best thing’ to have happened in his life.
Positive-thinking Alex Thomas, 27, of Selden Road, Worthing, believes his gum cancer battle prompted him to leave his supermarket job to pursue his dream of being a musician.
He has come forward with his story to emphasise a diagnosis is not a death sentence.
“It is a disease that can change your life for the better sometimes,” he said.
“People are terrified of the word and rightfully so but a light needs to be shined on it that just because you’ve got the disease, it is not the end.
“I accept it’s a terrible disease and people do die but you can get over it.
Alex was first diagnosed with gum cancer three years ago, after suffering a series of root canal problems.
Three of his teeth had fallen out unexpectedly and his pain had got worse, when he was sent for a biopsy by his dentist.
Just 48 hours later, he was diagnosed with the disease.
Two weeks later, he was being hooked up to a drip for his first course of chemotherapy.
He said: “That was the panic time, where I was going from being normal 24 year old to having a drip put in my arm.
“It is a gradual process but you do have to adapt to it pretty quickly.”
Due to the rigours of the treatment, Alex had to leave his regular job.
He had always held a burning ambition to forge a career in music but never followed it through, until his diagnosis.
He said: “I had always been part of little bands when I was younger but when I got my diagnosis, it pushed me into doing something I wanted to do. My old job wasn’t fulfilling.
“My ultimate ambition is to create a platform where I can do music full time. I have done gigs pretty much everywhere you can in Brighton, along with my backing band.”
For the full story, see the Herald, out Thursday, October 16.