“ All this time my mum was with me…”


I was diagnosed with cancer of the breast in October 2005. I had found a lump on my breast while doing a self examination which I did not do often. I promised myself that I would go to the doctor that week but the lump disappeared and I thought it was a false alarm. However, about two weeks later the lump reappeared and this time the left breast started swelling and I panicked and went to the Nairobi Women’s Hospital for an examination.

I went for a mammogram at the Nairobi Hospital, a fine needle test and later a biopsy at the Nairobi Women’s Hospital. I was not ready to tell my family about the tests and took my friend Edith along for the biopsy. I waited for about a month for the biopsy results from a laboratory in South Africa. The waiting was agony but my doctor kept on reassuring me that the swelling could have been caused by many factors and the tests had so far been inconclusive and they wanted to eliminate all the possibilities.

The day of the results came and I was feeling brave so I went to the Doctor on my own hoping against hope that it was not cancer. The doctor told me the verdict that they had detected cancer and I needed to make quick decisions to have a mastectomy because I think that he said that it was a stage 4 cancer although it had not spread to my lymph nodes. I was completely numb and I think this news hit me really hard. He sent me to talk to a counsellor immediately at the hospital.

It was a Thursday. I slept for two days without telling anybody what was happening but just cried in my bedroom and shut myself trying to think but not coming up with any solutions or course of action. Then I called my elder sister to my house and told her what was happening and the next person she called was my mother who rushed over after two days to be with me for the journey that I was about to start.

I had my mastectomy at Nairobi Women’s Hospital, then my doctor referred me to an oncologist, Dr. Musibi, who took over my chemotherapy regimen. I had six chemotherapy sessions which were three weeks apart.

During the chemotherapy sessions, my boss had given me the time off and I also took sick leave to be able to go for the sessions every three weeks. When I completed the chemotherapy sessions, my mother was now sure that I was ok and would be okay on my own so she went back to her life at her rural home.

I went straight to the radiotherapy treatment regime at the Nairobi Hospital and finished the recommended radiotherapy sessions. These sessions left me tired; it would put me down for a few hours as they were administered daily for about 1 month.

I have been required to go for check-ups every year after that and I have faithfully done this until 2010 when I became scared to go for the tests as my oncologist had told me that she can only tell me whether I am cancer free after 5 years. I have been very scared to go for the check-up but after going through my counselling sessions, I am now ready to do this. Thanks to all who have stood by me and have helped me through this journey.

Pamela Dede {Breast Cancer}


8 thoughts on ““ All this time my mum was with me…”

  1. Pingback: “ All this time my mum was with me…” | Africa Cancer Foundation

  2. God bless you brave Pamela – I have always known you as a brave woman and I admire you. This thing will end and it shall be well with you.

  3. May He who trusted before keep you strong . You still have a life to live my dia.. We love you and cherish every moment of your life that you share with us.

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