My appointment was terminated because I had cancer –Survivor



My appointment was terminated because I had cancer –Survivor

Miss Gloria Orji is a living miracle. At 35, she was diag­nosed with cancer which led to what she called a trying point in her life. At first, she thought she had got a death sentence, knowing full well how it had sent a colleague of hers to the great beyond until she escaped the claws of the deadly ailment.
In a recent interview with Sat­urday Sun, she narrated her battle with cancer and how her appoint­ment was terminated by her em­ployers because of her ailment. Above all, she narrated how she survived it.
According to her, in 2009, she noticed a non-cancerous lump in my breasts but never knew that it was a sign that would lead to her fight against the disease.
“It started in 2009 when I was doing self- breast examination. I noticed a lump on my right breast and so I went to see a doctor who said that I would undergo sur­gery to remove the lump. I pulled through the surgery and he took the lump tissue to the lab and was informed that it was benign but it was not cancerous. Honestly, I felt relieved after that.
Then in 2010, I started feeling another lump at the same place, so I was a bit confused. I called the doctor and he said I should come back to the hospital for an­other check-up, which I did. He checked it and told me that it was a larger lump and that it was big­ger than the first one and I would require surgery to remove it. I complied but I was getting scared because I knew it was not ordi­nary. After the lab test, my fears were confirmed as the doctor dropped those dreaded four letter words: “You have breast cancer”, she disclosed.
How did she take the doctor’s report at the initial stage? Her words: “At first, I felt it was the end, since I knew that the chances of survival were slim as this same disease took the life of one of my colleagues some years ago. After the shock, I started my treatment at the National Hospital, Abuja where I was referred to by the doctor.
“I went there and they were supposed to do a complete mas­tectomy which entails the remov­al of the breast completely but the surgeon said he wouldn’t do it. I was advised to go to an oncolo­gist and when I am through with the treatment that I should come back to him; so that he would know the extent on how the treat­ment affected the cancer.”
Recalling her experience dur­ing chemotherapy, she said:
“I went through chemotherapy in which I was giving six cours­es. My hair fell off, the pain, the weakness…I just thank God it is now a thing of the past.
“After I was through with my course, I went back to the surgeon but by the time I was rounding off my chemotherapy, I noticed that the lump had dissolved. I could not feel it anymore. I was told to do what they called wider margin excision. That is the removal of the whole area that seemed likely to be affected with cancer. So, they removed it, sent it to the lab and the lab report said the area where the growth occurred was clear but there were traces of some cancerous cells.
“Invariably, I was sent for ra­diotherapy which ran for about six weeks. I was also subjected to other tests such as tumour marker, bone scan, mammography. I had to come back after three months for check-up. Then, they later gave me six months. The reason was that they didn’t want a recur­rence. The last time I went, they said there were little cells but that nothing was wrong with me and that I should just continue living my life normally.”
When asked on how her fam­ily took the news, she told Satur­day Sun that they were surprised but gave the necessary support to continue fighting till the end. Ac­cording to her: “My family was shocked at first because there was no one that had it before in my family. They stood by me all through those trying times. Anytime I had chemo, my sister would come all the way from Onitsha to be with me. Even the one that stayed at Kainji in Niger  State also came when I was going through tough times. Family support also matters a lot because they make you feel loved and cared for. You also have to believe that God is in control. As far as I am concerned, I am a champion and a survivor.”
Speaking on how it has changed her lifestyle, she says, she now prefers doing things naturally especially what she eats. The whole experience has been harrowing as well as humbling for her.
“There is no need for grudges when life can just go in the twinkle of an eye. Before cancer, I was positive and energetic, after cancer, one becomes vulnerable. It made me realise that life is not in anyone’s hands and my heart goes out to every woman go­ing through this ordeal, they should hold on to hope because God is still working mira­cles.”
She also recounted her experience with her former boss who according to her termi­nated her appointment because of her con­dition, adding that but for her family, she would not have pulled through
“The only time I had a little stigma­tization was when I was working at one office, the lady who was my boss when I approached her that I wanted to go for checkup because I had a lump in my breast, she asked me what lump was that and when I told her, she was afraid and started shout­ing ‘blood of Jesus, blood of Jesus.’
“A week after that scene, my appoint­ment was terminated. I felt heart-broken but with the support of family, I bounced back and within me I knew that I was going to survive it because it came for a purpose and I believed that somehow, it would affect not only my life but the lives of people around.
“And honestly it does because when I go to the hospital for check-up, and I meet other patients, I talk to them and when they see that I am a patient who survived can­cer, they start asking me, ‘wow, how did you do it?’ ,‘do you mean you have gone through all those things?’ And I will be the one calming them down, giving them hope, showing them the bright side and being a source of inspiration to them.
“When they see you, to them it is like a life testimony and not one mere hearsay and it gives them courage that if this person can survive it, I too can survive it also.
At the end, I just believe that everything that has happened was for a purpose to make it known, talk to people, and expose it because when it is hidden, it has a very adverse side-effect which can be disastrous. I do advise people especially women that early detection counts. Once it is detected, the next step is to seek treatment as soon as possible but it is never a death sentence,” she said.

CULLED FROM SUNNEWSONLINE