The Pink Ribbon

Grace stood in front of the mirror and watched as strands of hair gave way to her touch, it had become a norm. Her beautiful thick long hair was a shadow of it’s glorious days. She could not even visit the saloon anymore. She remembered how she use to pat them and pack into two pony tails. How her friends admired them.

She was the life of the party, the girl every teen in her school wanted to be like, the prom queen, the ultimate BFF. Now, no one wanted to be associated with her. Her friends don’t even visit her any more, she was a shadow of herself.

Parties had been substituted for chemotherapy, school for mammograms. Friends for doctors and nurses. At 19, she was battling life and death; struggling to survive breast cancer. Yes at 19 she had breast cancer.

Her grandma had died of breast cancer when she was a baby. Her mum never failed to remind them of that. As she puts her sisters and herself through the rigor of checking for lumps every now and then.

So it was a big shocker when she noticed a lump, as big as a peanut, shooting out from the side of her breast. She quickly alerted her mum who broke down at the sight and touch of it. Crying, questioning God, why her baby.

How they missed it, they could not tell. How she got it… well that too was a mystery but then, there was the hereditary factor.

It’s been months, radiations and a lumpectomy after that. Her hopes of survival had increased. Chemotherapy helped to ensure it didn’t return and that she didn’t lose a part of her lady confidence.

As she stared at her new self in the mirror, she smiled, she’d survived a close shave with death, thanks to a vigilant Mother. Most especially, thanks to her church who didn’t only pray daily for and with her but encouraged her.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in women worldwide. In Nigeria, breast and cervical cancers are commonest. According to Globocan in 2002, Breast Cancer is responsible for about 16% of all cancer related deaths in Nigeria.

Breast cancer treatment and management is a big challenge in Nigeria largely due to limited resources. Also, awareness is poor and the fear of stigmatization, high. Silence has killed (more than the disease itself).

Causes of the disease varies but one thing is certain, you are more likely to get the disease if a close relative had it.

Early detection has saved more lives; get aware, read up about breast cancer, learn how to check for it. Make sure you check daily if possible and report any suspicious lumps to your doctor. Be safe.

Remember, if you feel like talking to someone, we are just a mail away, waiting to hear from you. Email us at info@whiteolive.org

Till we meet again, fly the Pink Ribbon and support a fellow sister with kind words or more this Breast Cancer awareness period.

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