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Living Positive with Cancer Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Beatrice M Vuhugwa, Kenya May 10, 2003
Health   Opinions
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Living with Cancer

When you wake up every other morning, the heart pumping well, in motion and with your sweet speech, please don't take it for granted. How many tens of thousands round the world goes breathless every other minute?

Count yourself lucky if you have never had serious health problems and don't take anything for granted. It is not by chance that you are healthy but by God's grace. Have you ever asked yourself, "What responsibility do I have over my health?" Remember, you have the greatest responsibility over your health. This responsibility is to be extended to those near and far from you. What are you doing to assist your doctor and those who love you to assist you maintain your good health? It takes less than a second and at times a very expensive habit to ruin a good health but costs nothing to abstain from poor habits that pause danger to your good health.

I have never enjoyed good health ever since I was born more than 35 years ago. But this has never stopped me from living my full life. My mother repeatedly told me that I gave her a hard time when I was a baby. Though she said this out of a clean heart, this made me feel guilty. As a result, I always shied away when I felt sick. I did not want to give my poor mother who was just like a single mother any more hard times. To date, I have some health problems that were carried forward from my childhood, problems that would have been taken care of if I had brought them in the open.

My health problems have ranged from toothache, nose-block, nosebleed, chest and limb pain (from a road accident). The latest has been mass swellings on the left side of my neck. I underwent an operation to remove the mass last year. Hardly a year later, the swellings came back in multiple. As I write, I have just undergone another operation. But this time, not everything was removed. One of the swellings is directly growing on one of the veins that take blood to the brain. Tampering with it can result to bleeding to death. You hear me explain this to friends and relatives; you would think I graduated a few weeks ago from the best school of medicine in the world! What then?

There is nothing as scary as like knocking on a doctor's door to get test results of a disease that is believed to have no cure. But should we stop living because we are scared of test results of cancer, leprosy, AIDS, name them? As I write, I am waiting for yet another histology test. Once again, I am suspected to be cancerous. Last year, results were cancer negative, yet I now have multiple swelling at the same spot where a mass was excised. I can't remember anybody in my family having such a problem. I have never smoked in my whole life. I have tested a glass or so of alcohol but never found it sweet the way many had expressed to me. I am dark-skinned, and there no one time I have ever tried to bleach myself using chemicals. Then, where has this cancer suspicion madness come from? Now that the suspicion is there, do I have time to blame myself?

Despite all the medical suspicion, the good thing that I can tell the world is, I still go big and high with all my dreams of one day becoming a famous writer still blossoming even with all these tests for cancer. One will ask, "Doesn't she know that cancer has no cure?" Yes I know, but so what? "She should focus her mind on the disease!" Remember, I too know that cowards die many times before the real death and if anything, my days are numbered and I have to live the remaining to the maximum. A smile on my face is a dose of its own. The secret of walking with my head high lies in:
1. God: I am a Christian and live on God's promise to man. 1John 5:14-15 says: This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have what we asked of him?E I have asked God for healing and I know he will grant it to me.

2. Accepting reality, sharing and talking about it: I don't have to keep my problems to myself and ponder about them when I go to bed or when I get the slightest opportunity. I know the disease is a big burden to me and I have to share it out by talking about it with relatives, friends and doctors. This has made those close to me and myself take the problem as a usual thing not a punishment from God for my bad deeds. At times it is hard when somebody you know dies of a similar disease to yours. How about when you hear through the media that the wife of your finance minister has just died of the same disease? What will come to your mind is; if with all that money they could not control the disease, who I am to survive without even a job? Remember you are an individual and not even identical twins share fingerprints. We are never the same.

Many will tell me that cancer is a more decent disease to discuss with friends than AIDS. I hear people say that so-and-so died a painful death. I have always asked myself, Is there sweet death and bitter death? Thank God I have never once died to experience this but I believe, death is all the same no matter which style, the formula is the same; the heart stops pumping. It is not necessarily you laugh and talk loud about your disease but never hide it, share your problem with those close to you. But never share it out by infecting others. Apart from being a sin, it will add you more infections contrary to beliefs that you will be reducing the viruses.

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Beatrice M Vuhugwa

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Great Article
Ivy Zhang | Nov 5th, 2003
I agree with you Beatrice. Many people get diagnosed with cancer and they think its the end of the world, but you just proved them wrong. You got diagnosed with cancer and you're not going all weird and shuting yourself up in your room thinking your going to die any minute.Its not people's fault they get diagnosed with cancer if it was in their genes or whatever. You should just accept that bump over your road thats coming to you, and have hope that you might get over that bump someday and ride on with your life. I admire your courage about geting cancer. If it was me, I would be very upset and annoyed with myseld thinking why I got it, why this is happening to me but you just explained that geting cancer isn't such a bad thing and you can live one with it without lots of negatives.Overall I think it's a great article.

Beatrice M Vuhugwa | Jul 20th, 2005

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