MY VICTORY OVER BREAST CANCER
My journey with breast cancer began as many of your journeys have begun. I never experienced any sign (lump) or symptom neither had I gone for a breast examination. While watching a program on Citizen TV one morning, a breast cancer survivor was giving overviews on how to do self-breast examination, I got interested and I followed the trend and the last method was devastating for me. It involved checking for any abnormal discharge from the nipple by squeezing the nipple, to my surprise the discharge which came out was fresh blood, I took heart and immediately thought of the next move, going for checkup.
Several tests were done. The last one which is Biopsy (Cells or tissue from a suspicious mass are removed and examined under a microscope to check for cancer cells), indeed proved that I had breast cancer stage 2 A.
I felt like a Hurricane hit me, there was an explosion of terms thrown at me, followed by scans, tests and more tests. Some of the phrases I still remember vividly; malignant, large, tumor, lymph nodes, stage 2A, 3…then mastectomy, lumpectomy, breast perseverative surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormonal treatment…
Finally a nice long remission and a chance to catch my breath and just live.’ Let God be your strength and power, he will set you upon higher place, he will teach your hands to war so that a bow of steel is broken by your arms. The lord is your shield therefore fear no evil. Unfortunately my story does not end here, after remission I had to face the reality; that it was no longer a tale! I had breast cancer. At the ripe age of mid 30’s. Cancer is life threatening and the treatment too expensive and the side effects are devastating. This combined reality led to acute stress which advanced to depression which landed me in a mental hospital.
From the loss of my long hair, finger nails and tattered skin which was ones glowed was heart breaking and only God knows the worst thing that would have happened. In all these, I was able to go through surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and hormonal treatment (a five year treatment plan). Chemotherapy has the worst side effects that it is only God and you.
I no longer think of myself as a breast cancer survivor but as breast cancer Victor. Although I have had few periods of illness I have always learned to trust God through it all, as a wise survivor once said; ‘I do what I have to do, so I can do what I want to do’.
Hope has been a word that I never understood well until when I fought so hard for it…A change in treatment, a new drug, blood counts, new procedures, something being done to improve my prognosis … but I want to say am living proof of victory. Breast cancer does not define you , it is some-thing that you can overcome. Know that you are not alone, there over 2 million, who are fighting and those who are survivors and remember you.
More-so, lets build each other. (I just remember how neighbors used to tell my kids about my illness) lets resist the temptation of being negative, be positive and good care givers.
and they that shall be of thee, shall build the old waste places, thou shall raise the foundations of many generations and thou shall be called the repairers of breach, the restorers of baths to dwell in.
What I mean is, support is everything; every smile, every hug, every kind word has a tremendous positive influence during these tough moments.
Finally I want to thank God because he is my refuge and my strength, I want to thank most sincerely my husband and our four children, family members, my employer (I am a Security Engineer) for the financial support and everyone who has been there for me in both little and big ways, they have kept me in a fighting mode and carried me through the toughest moments until I won the war on this “silent epidemic”
Above all, put on the whole armor of God ‘Ephesians 6:1, there is nothing too hard for our God? (Jeremiah 32:27) and Lo! God is doing a new thing in your life (Isaiah 49:19)