Irish composer Frank McNamara said “positivity” was key to his recovery from esophageal cancer, which he was diagnosed last July.
McNamara was diagnosed with Covid-19 last year and while he was being treated in hospital, doctors discovered he also had mild emphysema.
As he recovered from the effects of the long Covid, the Tipperary native said he was feeling unwell again with certain foods getting stuck in his throat.
“I googled it … and the two main causes are not chewing properly and cancer, and I thought I barely had cancer,” he said.
Mr McNamara said when he went in for an examination, doctors found a “massive tumour” at the entrance to his stomach, measuring 8cm in diameter.
He said the tumor was so large that there was only a “splinter” of room for food.
The composer told Brendan O’Connor on RTÉ Radio One that his clinical team was “very positive” and reassured him he was recovering.
The hospital staff moved quickly and after his initial diagnosis, Mr McNamara met with his surgeon soon after.
“I was very happy. It’s in an operable position and I was lucky that he was able to operate,” he said.
The former Late Late Show musician underwent surgery in November and then began eight weeks of chemotherapy to remove any malignant cells.
Mr McNamara said he was “on a particularly harsh form of chemotherapy” but “positive thinking” helped him pull through.
“It’s four rounds of chemotherapy, each with two weeks of recovery time in between,” he said.
“It’s that kind of positive thinking and change in the way you think about things that has helped me get through the tougher times.
“For the first few weeks, I sat on the couch watching Netflix and felt tired. When everyone tells you you’re going to hit the ground running, after a while you start believing it, but I just can’t. i am a walker I’m always doing something. I always look forward to the next one.”
Mr McNamara is due to receive his final chemotherapy next week and said he was feeling “fine”.
The time he spent recovering at home reignited his love of playing the piano and he says this led to him embarking on an upcoming concert tour with his son JJ.
The apple and the tree The tour begins in June and both McNamara and his son will be performing.
“For encores, we’ll do stuff together on a piano four hands, which is a lot of fun,” he said.
In 2019, Mr McNamara and his wife Theresa Lowe won a major victory in the High Court, writing off €2.9million in debt.
The win against a vulture fund made headlines and Mr McNamara said it was an extremely stressful time for the family.
However, he said her case should give hope to others who are struggling financially.
“Get help. Every debt problem has a solution, there’s no doubt about that. Go and speak to a professional. Get the help; don’t keep fighting,” he added.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/composer-frank-mcnamara-says-positivity-has-been-key-during-his-recovery-from-stomach-cancer-41465428.html Composer Frank McNamara says “positivity” was key to his recovery from stomach cancer