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The cancer tragedy

Kurt Felix and Paola at the SwissAward 2009, January 9, 2010
Photo: Getty Images

Kurt Felix

He knew it. "Nobody can finally beat the cancer. My treatment is complete. There remains a risk of being recovered from this underdeveloped cancer. "When popular television star Kurt Felix (69) pronounced this in 2003, he was considered cured - of thymic cancer in the chest, a particularly malignant tumor.

Now fate again tests him: operation, clinic, new fear. His doctor, Professor Thomas Cerny, confirmed: "Yes, it is true, the cancer is back." In February, the popular "Do you understand fun?" - Moderator nor: "I do in the Cantonal Hospital of St. Gallen every six months a great routine control in all disciplines, from head to toe, just like a few days ago. " In such an investigation came out now: The entire thorax is full of tumors. He enjoyed every day as if it were his last. At the first diagnosis seven years ago, Kurt Felix kept his courage: "I fear not death, but suffering." Now the same painful procedure as before threatens. Twice the chest was opened, four times his body tortured with chemotherapy. Six months lasted the dramatic fight against thymic cancer. His chances of survival were only 50 percent. But Kurt Felix never thought only about himself, but also about his fellow human beings, above all his wife Paola (59), with whom he has been married for 30 years. So he fought back to life. Every day after the supposed healing, he enjoyed it as if it was the last one. "We're not moving anything anymore, " he said. "We want to take the time that we still have, and enjoy." Nevertheless, Kurt Felix remained disciplined: "Prevention is the most important thing after the cancer."

Paola does not give up for a moment. "The bad thing about cancer is that you do not feel it, " he said. Still, he must have guessed that the incurable disease had come back. In March, when he briefly stepped in front of the camera, he said this was his last interview this year. He canceled all public appointments. What remains now is hope. A hard time begins. And Paola does not give way to any of those dark moments from his side.

How the Cancer Drama Begins -a Chronology January 24, 2003 The family doctor accidentally discovers the tennis ball-sized tumor. Since it is still unclear whether it is cancer. February 11, 2003 First operation. The thorax is opened - Diagnosis: The tumor is malignant and already in an advanced stage. March 5, 2003 Start of the first chemotherapy in the cantonal hospital Sankt Gallen. In total, there are four cycles. April 16, 2003 First success: After the first two chemotherapies, the tumor has decreased by 50 percent. May 21, 2003 After the fourth chemotherapy, the tumor has decreased by 75 percent. June 5, 2003 Second Operation: The tumor, which is still the size of a golf ball, is successfully removed.