Cancer-stricken man was unable to kiss his pregnant wife after chemotherapy made his saliva toxic
We often take for granted simple gestures of affection; even something as straightforward as giving someone a kiss. One person who knows this all too well is 32-year-old Craig Fountain.
Craig, who has cancer of the bowels, was left with toxic saliva as a result of his chemotherapy. The cancer-stricken father-of-two was left unable to be physically intimate with his pregnant partner Elizabeth, or even give her a quick kiss on the mouth, without running the risk of poisoning her and hurting their baby through contamination while she was still in the womb.
Craig was first diagnosed with bowel cancer back in August 2018, after noticing blood in his stool. At first, he passed it off to his gluten intolerance, but then his symptoms gradually worsened. After visiting a doctor, he was given a sigmoidoscopy which determined that he had a number of cancerous polyps in his large bowel.
To save his life, Craig had to endure a subtotal colectomy at West Suffolk Hospital. After a four-hour-long operation, in which his large intestine was removed and his rectum stapled to his small intestine, Craig was told by doctors to have as little physical contact with his then-pregnant wife while going through chemo, to prevent the possibility of cross-contaminating the foetus.
Commenting on his cancer diagnosis in a recent interview, Craig stated: "It was like having someone hit you over the head with a cricket bat and I walked around in a complete daze for hours. My first thought was, ‘What are my poor family going to do? Is my wife about to have to raise two children on her own?' But then I knew that I was going to have to be strong and make sure I did whatever it took to get through this and out the other side."
However, Craig admits that giving up kissing was hard for him, and that he missed giving his wife and daughter this simple gesture of affection. "It was tough as we are a very cuddly couple and always have been," he stated. "But Elisabeth, who has a medical background through her work as a vet, was so supportive, despite being heavily pregnant, and would pick up the slack - doing washing, cooking and cleaning – when I was too unwell to do anything."
He added: "Even silly things like giving her a kiss before going off to work or going to sleep at night was something I started to really miss like mad ... Kissing is such an important part of bonding with a newborn baby and I wanted so badly just to give Lottie a big kiss. The first time I was able to kiss her was such a wonderful and poignant moment for me and just goes to show that some things are worth waiting for."
Thankfully, after waiting for a period of time after his youngest daughter Lottie's birth, Craig was able to kiss her and it was safe to do. Although he is still waiting to see whether his cancer is in remission, Craig feels he is more hopeful regarding his own future.
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