The doctor suggested we test the new tumor for cancer cells. They sent the sample to two other medical professionals who both confirmed the diagnosis. I had cancer. While they remained uncertain of the type of cancer I faced, they advised me to begin treatment as soon as possible. Anger coursed through my veins.
NAIROBI, Kenya — The summer after high school graduation, I began to feel a burning sensation when I walked for long periods of time. To ease the pain, I submerged my feet in cold water. Although this helped the pain subside, every time I walked short distances, it returned. Three years later, when I started university, the pain worsened so badly, it rendered me nearly immobile.
I sought medical attention from several hospitals, but the doctors continually misdiagnosed me. They claimed I had malaria or arthritis. I took whatever medicine they prescribed, fearful I may never walk normally again. One day, while leaving my job, the pain struck so horribly I fell down, unable to move. Terrified, I called my sister and she drove me home on a motorcycle. The pain persisted all day.
It felt as though an excruciating fire coursed through my veins and underneath my skin. The next day, we went to the hospital, and they performed an x-ray which revealed a tumor on my pelvic bone. The doctors promptly scheduled me for surgery. When the doctors assured me the surgery went well and they took care of everything, they urged me to return to normal life. I was blissfully unaware of what lay ahead.
Years after that difficult experience, when I got married and had my first child, the pain returned with ferocity. This time, it overtook my entire body. Every day brought a new set of problems. I faced swollen lymph nodes and difficulty in my breasts and chest. I anxiously went to the doctor for another checkup, resulting in yet another surgery. I could barely believe what was happening to me.
The doctor suggested we test the new tumor for cancer cells. They sent the sample to two other medical professionals who both confirmed the diagnosis. I had cancer. While they remained uncertain of the type of cancer I faced, they advised me to begin treatment as soon as possible. Anger coursed through my veins. I wondered, had they found it sooner instead of playing guessing games with my life, would my chances be better?
The tumor sat directly on my ovary. As a young woman of reproductive age, the doctor warned, side effects of the cancer treatment could render me infertile. He referred me to a gynecologist to talk about harvesting my eggs. Financially depleted by that time, we could not afford to move forward with the process, so we accepted whatever life had in store. As I endured 33 rounds of radiation and chemotherapy, I felt lost and terrified. Thoughts of never having children or dying from cancer raced through my mind endlessly. I leaned heavily on my family for support every step of the way.
The first 15 days of treatment, I felt pummeled by nausea, insomnia, dizziness, and pain, but it improved over time. After six long months of painful treatment, my pet scan check-up delivered the best news: I was cancer free! By that time, I felt convinced the treatments made me barren and I stopped using birth control. My heart broke at the thought of never carrying children again, but at the same time, relief settled in. I no longer needed treatment.
One day, a year later, I realized my period was late and though I still believed I would never have children, an inner voice said, “Maybe I’m pregnant.” My husband ran out and bought a pregnancy test and it confirmed the results. We looked at each other in complete shock. Fearful of getting my hopes up, the months passed and the little bump grew. My gynecologist looked absolutely stunned.
With no fertility drugs, I defied the odds by achieving a natural conception. When he conducted the ultrasounds, another shocking bit of news arrived. I was carrying triplets. Flooded with happiness, the moment felt surreal. In fact, the pregnancy happened much easier than with my first child. When I conceived the triplets, I only weighed 45 kilograms (99 pounds). It stuns, my body managed to sustain three healthy fetuses.
A few months later, my happy, healthy, beautiful babies came into the world. Today, they turn six months old. Though my journey still feels unbelievable, an immense gratitude motivates me every single day. I am so indebted to the people in my life who loved and supported me along the way.
Translations provided by Orato World Media are intended to result in the end translated document being understandable in the end language. Although every effort is made to ensure our translations are accurate we cannot guarantee the translation will be without errors.
Pledge to be a #ConsciousCitizen today and demand #GlobalCooperationNow! by signing this petition. Sign Our Petition.