The Cancer Scourge

I lost a friend.

Yesterday I read an article written by a bereaved brother about his sister’s death and I couldn’t help but be very sad.Tossed a lot before I finally slept (I read it at night). First yes because anybody dying is a very sad event (though that is the end of us all). Secondly, this woman was barely married a year (she died before her first anniversary) and I WAS AT THE WEDDING. I had recently become an Usher in Church and if I remember clearly that was the first wedding I was an usher. Thirdly, she died of Ovarian Cancer. I think that was what hit me most. Here was a woman who if am correct was in her 30s, finally married and ready to live life as a married woman and less than a year had to deal with cancer. This year, it would be 9 years I first heard about ovarian cancer and 8 years since I lost a friend to ovarian cancer. We were both 16+ years when she died. A few days to her 17th birthday. When we knew she had cancer that fateful day in 2003, I did a search on it and all I could find were what I consider myths which I think people still believe till date. The myths that it happens to promiscuous women, old women or women who regularly have sex especially with multiple partners. Myth busted. Someone died at 17 and she was a virgin. Read a story too recently of another girl in the UK who died at 21 and her mum was campaigning that the age for yearly pap smears should be brought back to 20. She believed that if it was 20, it would have been detected early. Issue is because most people don’t do regular smears, it isn’t discovered until it has advanced. Another issue I discovered with cancer generally especially for us Christians is the I live in perfect health, no sickness can stay in my body, what I don’t know won’t kill me life.

Yes, we believe in divine healing but I don’t think that should stop us from regularly doing health checks. I couldn’t help but think about this woman and the fact that she lived here in the UK and could easily do a pap smear. I don’t know if she ever regular pap smears before it was discovered but what if she hadn’t. Could she have discovered this early and therefore still be alive?

Same with breast cancer. Granted ovarian cancer isn’t as popular as breast cancer. It is then baffling when I hear people say they have never had their breasts checked. These are educated people who could easily do it themselves, check in a hospital or if they want to, they can do a mammogram. Another myth, it happens to older women. Oh well, an ex-Nigerian International lost his wife in her mid 20s to breast cancer years back. I don’t think 20-30 is old. I get upset especially when people don’t wanna talk about this in churches. I remember when I had a lump removed the first time (I was 16), I was going to talk to some older teens in church about it and one of our teen teachers scolded me and asked me never to talk about it again; “You don’t discuss such issues in church”, she said.  I know the church is all about eternity and being good and spreading the good news, preaching salvation, and all but it is sad churches hardly talk about health issues or encourage their members to do regular checks.

I think have ranted enough. Just want to encourage people to do regular medical check ups. Could save your life in the long run.

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6 thoughts on “The Cancer Scourge

  1. mehn cancer is a nasty! I also had to remove a lump about 3 years ago. It was scary but I am glad I did it. We need to be very concious of our bodies. To be honest I am guilty of not having a pap smear but i will be doing it soon. I have been resisting it because I dunno – i just feel like it is too invasive x_x

    OVarian cancer doesnt have a lot of tell tale signs so I guess doing a pap smear is the best way of detecting it quickly.

    Let’s help ourselves and be on the watch out – thanks for spreading the word.

    PS: I read the article too and boy it was very sad!

    1. It is o. Removed lumps twice and I can tell you those two days are days I would love to forget. There are days I still find myself thinking what if and if I was better than my friend that died. God help us. I know it isn’t easy deciding to go do check-ups though. Coming from our part of the world. BUT I think it is necessary.

      I almost cried the night I read it and I tossed endlessly all through the night. Couldn’t sleep much. Chose the wrong time to read it cuz funny I had turned my laptop off some 2 hours before and I suddenly turned it on and went to that site.

  2. I, too, lost a friend to ovarian cancer. She may well be the same person you refer to as she died just before their first anniversary.

    Cancer is a horrible disease and those who suffer it go through so much. To have to deal with prejudice and ignorance from people who should know better is definitely something we could all do without.

    Thanks for the reminder to get regular screening.

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