…Husband also down with stroke
By Arije Amidu
When in the month of June, 2016, Mrs. Omolara Akinyemi, a member of Cherubim and Seraphim Movement (Mountain of Trinity), Ewutuntun, Oshodi, Lagos, woke up to discover an unusual lump in one of her breasts, little did she know that danger loomed ahead of her.
According to her, she had dreamt a night before of seeing someone hit her with something on her breast and woke up worried over the revelation. To calm her fears, however, she said she applied some anointed oil on the spot she was hit in the dream.
Instead of the oil to tackle whatever she felt on the breast, every time she checked the area on her boobs, the mirror showed that the lump kept growing. It was at this juncture she knew something was really wrong with her, though not sure of what it could be.
Telling her story to The Nigerian Xpress, Omolara said:
“This incidence started in June 2016. While I was sleeping, I dreamt that somebody hit me with something on my breast. When I woke up, I prayed and rubbed the part with anointed oil. But before the end of that week, while I was taking my bath, I pressed the area and noticed that there was something like stone in my breast. I quickly told those who were more knowledgeable than I about what I observed in my body and they advised me to go and do a test to know what it was. I went for a test. At that time, I was a bit broke, so I was directed to Falomo in Lagos that they were doing some free cervical cancer test there. I went but, unfortunately, they could not do it that day. They asked me to come back in January. They said it was late then and that they were about closing for the year. They calculated how much it would cost me and gave me a bill of N30,000 but I didn’t have the money then.”
But Omolara didn’t wait till January 2017 to take steps towards her quest. She learnt about another free cervical cancer test at Shoprite in Ogun State and she wasted no time to go for the test.
“Around Christmas time in 2016, I heard an announcement that a new Shoprite at Ota would be commissioned and that a free cervical cancer test would be carried out there. I saw that as another opportunity, went there and was examined and confirmed that there was something in the breast. I was asked to come to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, by February to carry out further tests,” she said.
The result unfortunately was disheartening. In an emotion-laden voice, she told this reporter: “After all the tests were carried out, it was detected that I am having cancer.”
Since then, the family has been thrown into a life-saving race, spending money on different tests and seeking help almost at different suggested places.
After four sessions of chemotherapy at LUTH at N15,000 per round, Omolara’s purse got exhausted.
“Each chemo gulped N15,000 and I have received four rounds of it, but afterwards, I was incapacitated and have no money again to carry on with the chemo. I just stopped receiving the chemo,” she said.
Broke and frustrated at the seeming hopelessness of her situation, Omolara soon succumbed to people’s suggestions of alternative cure. She opted for herbal treatment.
“All this while that I was going for the tests and medications, I didn’t involve the church because I was thinking that it is something we can handle but we couldn’t. When we couldn’t get more money to continue and we had to stop, some people came to inform me that since it is a spiritual attack, I should go spiritual too instead of going back to the hospital. So, we stopped going to the hospital, we started the spiritual treatment option.”
But this soon ended as another fruitless mission. “We spent a lot of money again while with the herbal medicine providers, it was a whole lot of wasted effort and money. We spent a lot all to no avail,” she said.
When the herbal treatment failed, Omolara, on the advice of her children, returned to the orthodox hospital for treatment. Sadly, her situation had become so bad that the doctor at the hospital could not even touch her wound. He referred them back to LUTH.
“We went to Lantoro Hospital, Abeokuta, Ogun State, for another round of treatment but the doctor could not touch it. He asked me to go back to LUTH for the treatment. When we got back to LUTH, the doctor that attended to me initially was the person we met again. He queried why I didn’t come for treatment all through 2018; we told him it was because of lack of funds. The doctor immediately told me that there was no remedy again for the treatment of the cancer and that there was no assurance that I would survive it. The doctor asked us to carry out some tests, which we did. The test cost over N150,000,” Omolara disclosed.
To make the matter worse, her husband, who had been her major pillar all through the trying times, suffered stroke and had become bed-ridden. The family became helpless, as there was no money to feed least of all treat the two breadwinners, who were both gravely sick.
As all efforts to raise money within the family became unachievable, she called on her children to put her on the social media and seek assistance for her.
“I was on the sick bed still struggling to pay for the test when I was informed that my husband had collapsed and is paralysed. I got fed up and I instructed my children to put me on the social media to seek assistance from the general public to help me get cure of this cancer. The church saw this and came to my house to find out for themselves since I couldn’t attend church activities any longer because of the foul smell, coming from the breast. They quickly came to my aid by raising funds for me. The church took me to a private hospital and they gave the cost of the drugs and chemotherapy at four million naira (N4,000,000),” she continued.
Although they could not raise the entire money, the doctor went ahead with the operation. The operation had the affected breast, on the left side severed, leaving Omolara with just one breast.
While Omolara and her family and friends were saved from the stress of a degenerated breast and the odour that was attached, the worst, according to her, may really not be over. “After the operation, we owe the doctor sum of one million and five hundred thousand naira only (N1, 500,000) and for four rounds of chemotherapy without which the doctor said all efforts we had put in place would amount to nothing because the cancer could develop again,” she stated.
She was supposed to have commenced the chemo since Thursday, April 25, 2019 but had not been able to start due to shortage of funds.
Appealing to Nigerians, a teary eyed-Omolara said: “I am begging Nigerians to please come to my aid and save me from this preventable death. I have passed through the most dangerous part of this problem, according to the doctor, but for the other one not to develop this same problem, I need to have commenced the chemo session. Please, help me, fellow Nigerians; my husband is still down with stroke and we are left with nothing again. As I speak, we are yet to fully pay the doctor. I was supposed to have gone for the dressing of the wound but couldn’t go because I am ashamed. He needs his money and I need to stay alive. Help me, Nigerians, because of my children,” she pleaded.
Her account details: Account number 3049159051 Polaris Bank, Account name: Akinyemi Omolara Beatrice