Saturday, August 24, 2013

How I survived cancer – Vast of singing group, Bracket

After seven months of undergoing treatment for Lymphoma, a type of
cancer of the blood, in Platinum Medical Centre, Wellington , London ,
Nwachukwu Ozioko, popularly known as Vast of the singing group,
Bracket is back. He returned to the country last week and was treated
to a grand reception by his friends. In this interview,Vast who is
still recuperating recounts how he battled with the deadly disease
and came out alive.
How did it happen?
I don't know what to say, but first of all, I want to give thanks to
God. I was very sick. Before I went to the hospital, I attended a
couple of shows. I wondered how I was able to perform at the shows
because I was seriously ill. My partner, Obumneme Ali a.k.a Smash and
I had series of shows and in a situation where payment has been made,
I had no optionthan to grace the stage. We decided to round off our
shows late last year in order to enable me take care of my health in
2013. But unfortunately,up till January, this year, we were still
going for concerts. We even had totravel to Australia to stage a
Then, I was visiting one of the hospitals in Lagos, and that was where
I was diagnosed. They carried out all the medical examinations, and
when the results came out, the Haematologist advised me to seek for
further treatment abroad.
If you have travelled to America or any Schengen country within two
years, you can apply for a Priority Visa and we were qualified to do
so. We applied and within four days, the visa came out. We met a
friend in the UK who introduced us to his brother who is a Medical
Doctor. He assisted us and we met a Haematologist who advised that I
should re-runall the tests again.
The only thing we didn't do was the surgery which I did back home
beforeI was diagnosed of suffering from blood cancer. After
everything, they started with the treatment they called 'Bone Marrow'.
It wasn't an easy one, it was very difficult. I thought I would loose
all the blood in my body but thank God I survived it. After a week, I
started having complications, Ihad to return to the hospital to have
blood transfusion after which I felt better. We spent a lot of money.
At a point, I was hopeless and was only praying to God for His
After the second chemotherapy, I started exercising because the doctor
advised me to do regular exercise. However, it was after the third
chemotherapy that the pictures I took while in the hospital leaked.
By then, I was already bouncing back to life because I passed through
the valley of the shadow of death. After the fourth chemotherapy, we
shot a video, 'Temperature' in London .
I didn't even know I could do that. I initially thought the cycle
would be six but before the fifth chemotherapy, the doctor informed us
that it was going to be eight. I got confused at that point and even
doubted what they were doing. I thought they just wanted to milk me
because it was expensive. My manager, partner and Chief Executive
Office however encouraged me to complete the treatment.
I was only going to the hospital, then to the gymnasium and back to
the house. After the seventh chemo, I was told to do a Lumber Punch-
they would have to inject my spine. It was done after the fifth chemo
and it was very painful. I thought I would be paralysed. I was told
the Lumber Punch was necessary to prevent the disease from getting to
the brain. At that point, our account was almost in the red.
Luckily, a friend known as Ugonna came to London during my third chemo
and was moved when he heard that we had accommodation problem. He
later gave us some money to look for one. Ugonna was the only person
that assisted me financially apart from the prayers and encouragement
of my fans and the media. I did the Lumber Punch and lost a lot of
Two days after, I went to get another chemo. When one undergoes chemo,
it kills both the good and the bad cells and flushes out all the blood
in your system. So, you have to be refreshing. Imagine losing so much
blood after the Lumber Punch and after the chemo. I was almost a dead
person.My colour overnight. I remembered what the doctor told me
that cancer is not the problem but the treatment.
After a week and a half, I started exercising, taking juice and
everything that would help build my blood again. I was finally cleared
from the hospital and I thank God for His mercies. A lot of people
came to our house to rejoice with us when we returned to the country
during the week.I want to thank them. The likes of P-Square, Jimmy
Jatt, Dammy Krane, KCee, Chidinma, Illbliss, JMartins and many others.
What kind of cancer did you have?
I had Lymphoma. It is a blood cancer. When I asked the doctor what
could the cancer of the blood, he said, nobody knows the cause for
now. According to him, it's like a situation where a dark complexion
couple making a baby and the baby turns out to be an albino and if
you are asked to explain why, you cannot tell.
I must say that when I was hospitalised, my partner was doing a good
job. He would call the producer and they would make a beat and send it
to me. He even made the chorus. I picked one of the songs when I came
back and hit the studio. We did one of the tracks, it was fantastic.
We did another song and it was good as well, all within two days.
During the seven months of your ordeal, what kept you going?
What kept me going was God. Before I went for the treatment, I saw
myself dying slowly. We got the visa and contacted the Medical Doctor
that attended to us. It was no doubt the handiwork of God. This doctor
handles only cancer related cases.My family, my manager, partner and
CEO were there for me. We travelled together. They made sure I was
well taken care of, while my ordeal lasted.
Interestingly, when the picture I took while in the hospital leaked,
I was reading the outpour of love, prayers and soothing words from my
fans. Some of them even said, they would die if I die. Then the press
guys werethere for me. They were keeping tabs of my progress and
informing my fans duly. All of these, did a whole lot in keeping me
going. That's why I got the courage and I know that it has always been
God, my family, the media and my fans.
What have you learnt from your experience?
I learnt that life is very precious. No matter what you do and
wherever youare, don't look down on anybody because you don't know who
will help youtomorrow. Another thing is that you don't have to be
scared of death. You have to face the challenge. Live a normal life.
If you are scared of death, you will die. At a point, when I got very
scared, the sickness came in full force, but when I started picking
courage, it subsided and I recovered.

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