My husband, Yusuf Akbas is a 45 year old holistic therapist born in Tunceli, Turkey. We have been together for over 10 years, living mostly in Bodrum.
Yusuf loves the outdoors and is like a Turkish mountain goat running around the hill at every opportunity! He loves to paint; mostly watercolour. His other favourite hobbies are landscape photography and singing. He has a great voice. Scotland is Yusuf's adopted home: Glasgow and Glencoe are his favourite places.
Since 1996 Yusuf has had basel cell carcinoma, the most common and treatable form of skin cancer. He saw numerous doctors in Turkey over a 10 year period and had three procedures to remove the tumour, but each time it returned.
In 2012 Yusufs eye was drooping badly and we were very concerned that the cancer was progressing. We sought medical help from 6 different doctors in Turkey. None of them offered any treatment, which was deeply worrying.
In February this year, we met with a Consultant Plastic Surgeon in Glasgow who specialises in cancer around the eye area. After tests he advised us that Yusuf needed surgery which he believed would be effective and final.
Following three major surgeries over a period of 7 days in May at The Nuffield private hospital in Glasgow; the pathology of tissue and bone revealed that the tumour was deeper and more involved than expected and that it had travelled to his nasal cavity and bone.
The shocking news was that his eye and maxillery bone needed to be removed as the cancer was moving to his brain 'like an express train' which would be fatal. This extensive and invasive surgery could only be carried out at an NHS hospital, with both an intensive care unit and a specialised head and neck team.
The Nuffield Consultant was incredibly helpful in finding the medical professionals and being an interface with the hospital. Given that this surgery was unexpected, we hoped that Yusuf would qualify as an NHS patient, but after waiting many weeks we were told that this was not possible.
We were advised that that costs would be in the region of £35000.
The surgery took place on 5 September and we are waiting for the outcome of the bone pathology to find out if Yusuf will need radiotherapy. Yusuf will have a bespoke prothesis in approx 6 months time. He is slowly recovering and we both know that life will be very different after his recovery. However, the good news is that he will have a normal life expectancy if the cancer does not return.
Yusuf is an optimistic person, however this situation has really taken it's toll on him physically and emotionally. Nonetheless, he is determined to find a way forwardand once again enjoy our life together, and with all those dear to him.
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