Home > Uncategorized > Of Mums and Sisters: Key Warriors in my Battle against Cancer – Part 1

It has been 3 months since my last blog post! Yes, it was on April 30 when I penned my last blog, the day before my successful fundraising event, It’s a Family Fun Day Affair. After that I posted a Thank-You Flyer on the page and sent out emails, cards, SMS to all the people who made my fundraiser a success. But today, I will not blog about that but I wanted to update you on my journey to battle my breast cancer and how two women in my life have made an impact to me. This blog is the first in a series dubbed, Key Warriors in my Battle against Cancer, where I reflect on the many people who have come into my life over the last 9 months and pushed me along in this journey and have truly been a Blessing to me.

I believe this fight against cancer that I am fighting oh so hard, is coming to an end very soon! As a matter of fact, yesterday my mum told me something very profound. As I was heading out the door to go for my Herceptin treatment at M.P Shah Hospital, she said,” You know I stopped praying for God to heal you”. I said, “What? Why?” She responded, “He has already healed you so that’s a wasted prayer. These days I pray to God to thank Him for healing you!” I thought that was a very powerful thing to say and I realized that I needed to also start thinking in that way!

When I got to my doctors’ office, the head nurse who was preparing me for my Herceptin treatment asked if I came alone or if someone was coming to sit with me during the treatment. This treatment lasts about 60-90 minutes and it is an IV infusion done through my IV port. They first flush saline water through my veins, then some steroids to prevent a reaction, and then finally I get the Herceptin drug, Heclone for 30 minutes. I repeat this treatment every 21 days and I have done a total of 8 treatments out of a total of 17. So back to the nurse and his question on if I would have someone keeping me company during my treatment. I responded to him by letting him know that I am now healed from cancer so there is no need to bother my family members to escort me every time I had a doctors’ appointment. He smiled at me quizzically and he must have thought I am very optimistic about my state, but guess what, I am,  and my Mum reminded me today that I need to be, as I am healed!

My mum, Lilian Mwaura and I at the Taj Mahal, India on Dec 9, 2012, two days before my surgery to remove the cancerous tumours  found in my breast.

My mum, Lilian Mwaura and I at the Taj Mahal, India on Dec 9, 2012, two days before my surgery to remove the cancerous tumours found in my breast.

After my successful fundraising event in May, my older sister and her husband and kids came to visit me from the US where they live. When I was first diagnosed with cancer in November 2012, my sister was the first person I told because I knew she would know what to tell me and what to do. She is a very practical person and I needed an action oriented approach at that time as opposed to an emotional one, which had its place later on. Thanks to her background in medicine as a medical doctor, and the fact that one of her close workmates had been battling the exact same disease in the last year, her approach was very informative and useful in ensuring I decided on the best course of treatment over the coming months. In fact, when presented with two options for surgery back in December 2012, a lumpectomy or a full mastectomy, I turned to her for advice and followed through with her informed choice.

My friend Mary Ellen and Sister Dr Wanjiku Musindi, Columbus, Ohio

My friend Mary Ellen and Sister Dr Wanjiku Musindi, Columbus, Ohio

Over the last 8 months we talked a lot on phone, at least twice weekly, discussing and dissecting every aspect of my disease. In fact we developed a routine where she called me on her way to work, and she would find me on my way home from work, due to time differences between Ohio and Nairobi. She ensured she had a rapport with all my doctor’s and she took the role of my medical adviser very well, also doing her own research and sending  journal articles or pieces of the latest research to review for myself. While the relationship in that form was exactly what I needed, I also missed my sister immensely and just wanted to have sometime physically in her company where we didn’t have to talk about the Big C or my treatment. When she agreed to come to “Africa” with her two kids and hubby for 3 weeks, I was more than elated. We spend week 1 just hanging out with the kids and while she did accompany me for my doctors’ visit that week, coincidentally to remove a very painful in grown hair in my armpit, the rest of the time we spent together was mainly doting over our kids. In her final week she accompanied me to Pretoria, South Africa to get me settled for the 6 weeks I would be spending there to receive my radiation treatment. At the end of the week I was very sad to see her leave but I was so grateful for that time we spent together and I knew it would only selfish not to be appreciative to God for making things happen.

Mum and sis, I may not say it often as I am not the emotional, expressive type, but I do say, now thank-you for your support, love, optimism, and for holding my hand every step of the way, during the dark days and the better ones. God Bless You Abundantly.