Saturday, April 20, 2024

PM told: Take time to heal


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Take time to heal and recharge your batteries!
That’s the advice from Member of Parliament for St George North, Gline Clarke, to Prime Minister David Thompson, who recently revealed he had pancreatic cancer.
Clarke, who said he empathised with Thompson and his family, recalled that that was exactly what he did when he was diagnosed with an enlarged prostrate back in March 2007.
Clarke was diagnosed with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) of 6.6, which was even said to be borderline cancerous.
“I had seen Dr Emtage here and then I had seen my Canadian doctor as well, who lives in Toronto. He referred me to a urologist and the doctor then told me it was one of the biggest enlarged prostrates he had ever seen. He even advised me that if I didn’t do something soon it could become cancerous,” he stated.
The news didn’t cause Clarke to panic, but instead to put plans in place to better his health.
Five months later, he took leave from Cabinet, after gaining permission from then Prime Minister Owen Arthur.
“When I went back to Canada I was told it was benign. I was given a choice of either surgery or radiation, but I chose radiation to reduce it,” he stated.
Clarke said since then it had been reduced, but he still had some problems “passing water”.
“I’m not ashamed to tell you that I can’t pass water like a little boy. I still have a problem passing water but it’s not as severe.”
Clarke, a former Minister of Housing and Lands, used the opportunity to encourage men to take the prostate test as soon as they reached the age of 40.
“Most men don’t like the digital rectal examination . . . but most doctors still do that examination and they should also get the PSA which is a special blood test.”
He said while “most doctors in Barbados felt that you should only do something about it if it is past ten”, in other countries as long as it was past six, it was seen as cause for concern.
He said he knew Thompson’s case was a difficult one, but said he believed nothing was difficult if God were involved.
“God can help and miracles happen every day through prayers. Once you divulge it early and talk to the priest and your family it makes it better. Although I am not strictly religious, I believe God does work miracles and things do happen – I believe strongly in prayer!
“I remember praying with the reverend at St George Parish Church and then he came to me in a dream one night in Toronto and told me “You will be all right!”
“MPs will become sick sometimes because we are all human beings. Whether it be diabetes, cancer, hypertension . . . both women and men have to look after themselves, eat properly, exercise regularly and have proper lifestyles.”
Clarke said the life of a politician was often a very stressful one, but he advised Thompson to be confident in prayer and again urged him to take some time to relax.
“I spent a lot of time relaxing, going to the park. I love the trains so I used to ride them up and down.
“I have spoken to him (Thompson) and I have wished him all the best, but I’m confident through prayer and good help that he will be all right,” he added.


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