With October being the Breast cancer month, we usually try to feature at least one survivor for this month.
But sometimes, we instead, feature a person, who is playing an active role in ways to prevent or arrest this disease as early as possible. The First Lady of Niger state, HE Amina Abubakar Bello is one of such persons with her NGO. Many NGOs have been created to achieve this goal. But no matter how many NGOs are created to fight this dreaded disease, no matter how much we learn about it and ways to prevent and fight it, it is still the most feared and dreaded disease ever. So much so that when the word is mentioned, it is often times, unfortunately, viewed as a death sentence to the receiver of such news! But thankfully, especially with such NGOs available, it is NOT always the case. That said though, nothing prepares you for the mental and emotional anguish even before the journey of the battle to fight it begins. I remember a late friend of mine once told me that some victims lose the will to fight as soon as they get the news of their plight and this actually affects their survival rate. It actually shortens it because of their state of mind. She said the mind plays a huge role with the outcome and I believe her to a certain extent because at some point, we cannot but accept God’s will. She herself was a one time survivor until the cold hands of death snatched her away at the return of the disease. I have also been told that people go through various stages when faced with this debilitating illness. The Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth-Ross, was inspired by her work with terminally ill patients. She said denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance are the various stages patients go through. In between these phases, their bodies are ravaged physically and the only thing that keeps some of them going is their will to live to fight the disease even up till their very last breath. What I believe strongly in, is the state of mind of the patients. What they do with the time they have left and how they handle it. Aside from their unbearable pain, there is a silent resilience in them. Some dig deep into their spirituality and are better prepared to deal with their illness. They share special moments with their loved ones and are able to find inner peace which defies their circumstance. Nothing prepares their loved ones for this harrowing journey but somehow, they learn to cherish what time God has given them with their loved ones till they leave to rest in His bosom. But, not all stories end on a sad note. Some people have survived and beaten the disease. They have stared death in the face and overcome it, to God’s glory. The good thing, if one can use such a word loosely in this situation, is that if detected early, Cancer can be cured. And it is for this reason we have to give accolades to those who have made it their calling to make such detections available to those who otherwise cannot afford such expenses. They have made it their life’s mission to continue to raise awareness and funds to ensure women in their environment do not miss this opportunity. This gives a small ray of hope to every woman out there that all is not lost as long as you are vigilant with your body. That, at least, is a step in the right direction. The rest, we leave in the hands of God Almighty.