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How we are battling cancer, young under 30 survivors share experiences

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VIOLET SHUNZA, 31

I’m a survivor but will forever carry a colostomy bag

In 2012, I would experience painful stomachaches and would self-medicate with painkillers. Later in 2014, I realised I had a tumour in my tummy.

Several hospitals diagnosed me with what they called “stubborn ulcers” and put me on medication. But in 2017, the pain was unbearable, and between January and February, I dropped from 60-30kg. I went for tests at Kenyatta National Hospital and a CT scan showed pelvis abscess.

I was scheduled for surgery on October 3, 2017. During surgery, the surgeons realised I had been misdiagnosed; they called in the general surgical team to remove the colonic mass they had detected. The operation took 10 hours.

My life of not going to the loo the normal way had just begun. They made a hole on my abdomen wall and fixed the colon there. I looked at myself and said maybe they didn’t complete the operation. A nurse came in and she broke the news to me that I had colon cancer. I was so mad, scared and embarrassed, I wanted to just walk out and leave the office.

I was admitted for three months and when the results were out, it showed that I had stage two cancer. I saw an oncologist and my treatment involved 12 cycles of chemotherapy. I didn’t lose my hair but it thinned, my skin darkened, I had black veins like an alien and experienced lots of nausea.

I finished the treatment on October 5, 2018, after 10 months. I was scared of stigma and became a loner until I joined a self-help group of people like me at Aga Khan Hospital, where we meet every second Saturday of the month.

I am now 62kg, and although I have to walk around with a colostomy bag, I am free from colon cancer and I am a survivor.

 

MARY GATHONI, 28

Side-effects of cancer treatment haunt me up to date

In 2012 just after high school, I noticed a swelling on the side of my stomach (inguinal). This seemed normal to me since I had it since 2009 when I was in Form 2. The only abnormal thing was that it had grown from a pea to as big as a mango.

I had a part-time job and my boss forced me to get checked as the lump was protruding on my outfits. I asked myself why get checked yet it wasn’t painful? Anyway, I went for a check-up because I didn’t want to lose my job.

I must admit my boss saved my life. I got to Nyeri General Hospital and the moment they did a test called FNA, that was the beginning of unbearable pain, insomnia, mouth sores, loss of appetite and having to care for a wound that took an eternity to heal.

I was handled like a specimen with so many doctors in lab coats coming to do tests on me. Finally, I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancer.

My journey for treatment started in January 2012, and it took three months to get an NHIF card, which barely helped.

I had to do 12 cycles of chemo and each cost Sh35,000. I also went through 25 sessions of radiotherapy. My family could barely afford it. Being the second born in a family of nine with a single mother who was struggling to feed us, it wasn’t easy.

By the end of 2012, I was diagnosed to be free of cancer. The trauma I face now is I didn’t have someone to counsel me on the side effects of treatment, some that may be permanent.

Seven years after being free of cancer and my eyesight has never returned to normal. I suffer insomnia and my teeth still have cracks, I rarely eat well and have never weighed more than 49kg.

The pride of every woman is to have a child but my menstrual periods were permanently affected by the cancer treatment. My cycle is more than abnormal. I can’t even remember the last time I had periods. When they come, it’s for a day and they’re gone.

The last doctor I saw told me that I may be infertile, I don’t want to believe it but I know my body and I can feel the difference. Lastly, I am 28 years and I forget things that I feel I shouldn’t forget at times. It’s my desire that cancer victors like me work towards the creation of awareness of side-effects to those diagnosed, and also advocate cancer screening.

 

MILLICENT KAGONGA, 29

Hard to find employment as a cancer survivor

I am now 29 years but I had my first child, who was recently admitted to Form One when I was 14. At the age of 16 years, I was a mother of three. This is when my journey with cervical cancer began.

In 2010, my husband chased me away because I frequently had vaginal discharge. He hated it especially during sexual intercourse. I had no money for medical care and instead moved back upcountry, where my mother was. Within six years, the discharge had changed colour and looked more like pus. It also had a pungent smell that made people stay away from me.

Before I knew it, my private parts started producing blood clots. I could feel a tumour coming out from my private part and this is when I was forced to go to the hospital to get checked.

In 2016, I was screened and diagnosed with stage four cervical cancer. Treatment was my biggest challenge. I needed Sh13,000 for a biopsy but I couldn’t raise even a shilling. Fortunately, I met a doctor who helped me process my NHIF card and I managed to come back to KNH, where I had a minor biopsy surgery of Sh40,000 done. NHIF covered the full cost but a month later, the nightmare began. I would wake up to a bed full of blood. I got to a point that holding a long call was hard. Before I got to the loo, it would be out.

In November 2015, I started chemo and radiotherapy and within three months, I was done with my treatment. I am almost fully recovered but what I need to live with is early menopause and the fact that sometimes I still can’t hold my stool for long. My cry to the government is that through our health may at times not allow us to do heavy jobs, we have talents and some of us are educated but some employers turn us away because we have cancer or are cancer survivors living with side-effects.

 

MOSES OTIENO, 22

Negligence cost me my leg

While in school aged 17, the principal was addressing the school when I fell down unconscious. I came to at Kiambu General Hospital.

This was when I was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour in my leg. It had itched a couple of times while in form two, but most of the time, my parents would rub my knee with rob and hot water. The itching turned into a painful sore until I ended up in Kiambu Hospital, where the medical team said my case was beyond them.

I was transferred to KNH where, unfortunately, I couldn’t be treated without being admitted. I was admitted at KNH on April 2014. At this time, cancer had already spread up to my upper thigh and I could barely do anything.

Interestingly after two weeks, all they did was a biopsy and I was discharged and told to return after one and a half months. I couldn’t go to school because I was too unwell to even sit in class.

On July 5, I lost my leg and after that, I was pumped with painkillers until I was discharged in January 2015. What I have never understood is why I was never counselled on the journey and secondly, whether not having funds made me not get treated on time. Perhaps I would still have my leg before cancer spread into my bones.

After some time I went for chemo but due to lack of funds, I could only afford two sessions. God helped me because even after stopping chemo, my check-up months later showed that cancer had cleared in my body. I managed to go back to school and finish my education, and now I can do sign language and I play amputee football. I believe I have a future.

Source: The Star

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Lifestyle

VIDEO: Radio Jambo presenter Joyce Gituro narrates how a cult broke her marriage

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Radio Jambo’s Joyce Gituro has opened up about how she lost her husband of many years because of a church.

Speaking on her YouTube channel with Jeridah Andayi, Joyce narrates how her ex-hubby left her, carrying everything from their house leaving her alone with their children.

Well, she says things changed when she and her religious husband changed the church they used to attend.

“The church was the main reason me and my husband parted ways. I lost my husband in church,” she said.
“My husband told me we had to leave the church where we used to worship and he took to a church that I did not believe in. When I went there I told my husband I am not comfortable with the doctrines…The church was sounding funny,” She said.

She recounting an incidence that happened when all worshippers were asked to close the door and the windows to chase away the demons.

“I remember one day the pastor said we close the windows and doors so that we could ‘Cough’ out the devil. I told my husband I am not very comfortable and went out with my kids. When I walked out the pastor did not like it and that is where the problems with my hubby began. When I talked to my hubby he reprimanded me that walking out was wrong,” she added.

She said that after that incidence she started noticing some weird behaviours in her hubby.

He would always receive scary prophecies from the pastor. She recalled one day when the love of her life took a lot of money to buy a TV for the pastor adding that at the time they had not paid for their children’s school fees.

“I called my parents-in-law. I told them that their son had joined a cult. He would disappear saying he has gone for prayers. The kids would see him and the cycle continues,” added Joyce.

Another time after, her husband came from his usual prayers and told her that the pastor had told him the kids were not his.

“I remember one time he came back from his usual prayers, he told her that the pastor said that the kids do not belong to him. My hubby got into debts. I suspect he was taking the money to this church. He got into debts to an extent that even my car was taken away,” she said.

The mother of three said that one day she was followed by the police who claimed that the car she was driving had been stolen.

“I was followed by police all the way to Royal Media. The police asked me if the car was mine and I told them yes. They told me that the car had been stolen. I was confused because I had given my hubby money to buy me the car. I later realised that he did not buy me a car but hired one and brought it to me. It was a stolen car,” she added.

Joyce says she was living in fear after that till one day when she visited her sister only to be called by her neighbours asking why she had not informed them that she was moving out.

In shock, she went back only to find her house empty.

“My hubby left us. He carried everything in the house. I have never seen a man who when he leaves packs the cooker, fridge, seats, curtains and other things in the house. I was shocked. We had our issues but I did not expect it to get to that,” she said.

Joyce admits that she is not sure whether the people were auctioneers or it was the husband who decided to carry them.

Joyce moved out with her kids and started a new life. After a while, she was informed that her husband was in jail in Uganda.

She informed his family who helped him to get out of jail.

Watch the whole story to know what happened later;

By Mpasho.co.ke

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Deep-Dive Analysis: Studying Master’s At The University Of Tampa

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BY BOB MWITI,

Have you ever wondered what it takes to study your master’s in America?. Well, in this episode of Success With Bob Mwiti Show, I take a deep-dive analysis of taking your master’s at The University Of Tampa. If you like my work, please subscribe to my YouTube channel.

 

A Little Bit About Me!

I am a former international student in USA and I am a senior IT consultant in the areas of Oracle EBS Financials and Robotics Process Automation (RPA) here in USA. I am the programs director of Appstec America – A consulting company based in Tampa, Florida, USA.

I’ve been blessed to have learned a lot in my career as an IT consultant. My life has truly changed, and I’ve made it my mission to give back and serve others beyond myself. Whether that be helping you to relocate to USA as an international student, train you as an IT consultant, help you start and build your own online business, creating your financial freedom, motivating you to pursue your goals and dreams, to being more productive, to inspiring you to constantly improve yourself.

My mission is to get you to wake up to the unlimited potential within you and achieve what you’re truly capable of through my various self-development training programs.On the internet, I openly and passionately share my life experiences and all of the very best concepts, strategies, tools, and resources that I continue to discover that have made a measurable difference to my life, and will do for you as well.

Keep your dream alive and never give up! To learn about my company’s amazing programs, please go to;

www.appstecamerica.com or www.successwithbobmwiti.com

Contact me at;
success@successwithbobmwiti.com
info@appstecamerica.com
+1 813-573-5619 ext 402

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Lifestyle

KCB closes branch after envoy collapses and dies

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Kenya Commercial Bank has shut down one of its main branches after a South Sudanese envoy collapsed and died.

Confirming the Thursday afternoon incident KCB, in a statement, said it had opted to close KCB Advantage center at Kencom House along Moi avenue indefinitely.

The bank revealed that it had already reported to police the matter involving 66-year-old Michael Nyang Jook, the South Sudanese ambassador to Eritrea.

“We regret to confirm that a customer at our KCB Advantage Branch, Moi Avenue, Nairobi collapsed and died this afternoon during a visit to the branch. The incident was reported to the police, and they took over the matter,” the statement read in part.

According to the police report, the ambassador collapsed after complaining he was experiencing difficulty in breathing.

The incident was reported at the Central Police Station under OB/22/102020.

On the shutdown, KCB said, “We encourage our customers to visit our other Advantage Centres or use alternative banking touchpoints such as cash recyclers, ATMs, cash deposit machines, Mobi, KCB M-Pesa, Vooma and internet banking.”

The KCB management also sent message of condolences to the family of the deceased.

“We condole and stand with the family during this difficult time,” the statement concluded.

By NN

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