“No one knows how long I have left to live”

Peter, a 58-year-old Belgian, owns a highly regarded café in Hulste, West Flanders, the Oud Gemeentehuis. For 14 years, he has been used to serving his customers the drinks they want, always with a smile on their face.

Only, he learns three months ago a piece of news that will turn his life upside down: “I started having neck problems and I started having trouble eating. On the advice of my attending physician, I went to the hospital. A few hours later he called me,” Peter told HLN.

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Farewell party

Esophageal cancer was detected in him: “It was then that ten difficult days began for us”, explains his partner Joke Christiaens. The chemotherapy program is very substantial but things may not work out. “No one knows how long I have left to live. It could be several weeks or several months. Tomorrow I’m leaving for the palliative unit,” says Peter.

He was forced to give up everything, including his cafe, which he had already closed with his partner in mid-January. “I’m so sorry that I couldn’t say goodbye to coffee life and my regular customers.” He wanted to “work another two years and then retire. That was the plan. But I wanted to end in style: a big farewell party”.

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His wife, who worked with him, is looking for a job. Peter receives many messages of support from his relatives and former clients.

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