Pain of homeless woman battling cancer of colon
SEE ALSO :Bust those diet and cancer mythsThe once promising tailor uses two colostomy bags daily, with each bag costing Sh1,000. Her health problems started in March 2016 when she developed stomach pains and later spotted traces of blood in her stool. “I felt tired all the time. I went to MTRH in May 2016, where I was treated for typhoid for about a year, but the bleeding persisted. I went back to the same facility a year later and doctors discovered a tumour in my lower abdomen. They recommended further check up,” she says. Adhiambo was referred to St Luke’s Hospital in Eldoret for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In September 2017, her doctors found out that she had cancer.
SEE ALSO :Late diagnosis hurts cancer war - medics“A well wisher had paid my NHIF cover for a year. I was helpless, I had to take my three children to a children’s home. Some well wishers have been paying for my chemotherapy sessions, even though I have missed several,” she says. The mother has been at MTRH since December 2018, and was discharged a week ago to seek palliative care at home, where she has been surviving on milk and bread donations from neighbours. The ailing woman who is scheduled for further operation says her right leg is paralysed and doctors say the cancer may have spread to it. At her new home, she is attended to by community Social Worker Benson Akumu, founder of Amazing Grace Treat Care Initiative. “We rented a single room for her because she had been sleeping on the streets. Life has been difficult for her,” he says. Dr Jesse Opakas, a radio oncologist at MTRH, says colon cancer at an advanced stage can be handled through palliative care. The oncologist says that counselling and education are key in stabilising the patient.
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