As much as I love my job, sometimes I get exposed to certain things that grip my heart with fear. On the brighter note, fear or excitement, it opens my eyes to the realities that I may have turned a blind eye to, choosing to convince myself that it is either fiction or another propaganda by the elites.
Cancer has become a trending phenomenon that has caught the attention of the global community; almost relegating HIV/AIDS to the rear. It has claimed lives and destroyed dreams; turning the wealth of many to a pack of cards or rather, a pile of dust. Apparently, it used to be a disease common in the lives of older women until very recently when even the young have become prey to this disease. Men have joined the list of those hunted by the disease, calling our attention to the many types of cancer.
As part of my assignment for the May edition of the magazine I work with, I had to interview someone who has worked closely with cancer patients and, women who have survived the breast cancer. Not because other types of cancer are not relevant to the organization, but it chose a focus under its Corporate Social Responsibility which is the breast cancer.
I started my journey by going to interview one of Nigeria’s finest female photographers, Yetunde Ayeni-Babeko, who had put together a group of female photographers to exhibit the works they had done with breast cancer patients and survivors. The exhibition which took place at the Goethe institute was tagged ‘battle scar’. According to her, it was tagged the battle scar because, the breast cancer patients continue to fight the deadly disease as soldiers and the survivors live with the scar. (To read my interview with Yetunde Babaeko, pick a copy of the May edition of Genevieve Magazine).
As I walked into the exhibition room where I was to interview Yetunde, the first picture that caught my eye was that of the body of a breast cancer patient but instead of her face was a mirror. Looking through that mirror, you could see your face but not your body. This gave me the feeling as though that was my body in the picture and it was at that moment that the reality of breast cancer dawned on me. I suddenly found myself trying to touch my breast to be sure that I had no lump.
Yetunde was nice enough to give me a personal tour of the exhibition room and all I could see through those pictures was the pain which these women go through in the bid to fight for their lives. Some have become lonely; probably because their families have abandoned them but some because they have lost their esteem. The stigmatization puts them in the dark with no one to really discuss their fears with and some just sit by waiting for the disease to take them out of this world.
I eventually met with the breast cancer survivors, Mrs. Gbadamosi and Miss Veronica, thanks to Dr. Salako of the Sebeccly Cancer Care foundation. I must say that these women were so healthy and really did not look anything like those who have been through the cold hands of cancer. They were beaming with smiles even as they narrated their ordeal to me. Yes, they had moments when they switched and became sober but, they were happy women. (Pick a copy of the May edition of Genevieve Magazine and read their story).
By the time I was done with the interview, I became aware of so much that I wish to share with you some other time but most important is the need for us all to go and get our mammography done. Kill the fear of finding out and embrace strength that you can conquer the disease like most people have if only you find out in good time. Early detection is key.
If you know any organization organizing a mammography, please share on this space or send me an email- firstname.lastname@example.org- so that others can be a part of it. Spread the word as much as you can, start by sharing this post with all your networks and pick a copy of the May edition of Genevieve Magazine. Begin to live a positive life by getting your mammography done and, show love to those who are in the battle already.
Till I come your way again, keep sharing this post till all those you know and all those that you know know,get the message
And yeah, it is my baby brother’s birthday today. Happy birthday dearie. Luv u munchos!