|Battling The Beast|
I was born in Imo State on October 2, 1973, but I grew up in the North- Niger State. Dad passed away when I was 7 years old so I was raised by my mother. I attended FGGC. Owerri for 3 years and then I transferred to FGGC Bida, where I finished in 1991.
After Secondary school, I studied theatre arts at the University of Portharcourt, Nigeria, West Africa. After graduation, I pursued acting for a while, appearing in several TV series and Talk Shows on NTA, Lagos, including drama series, Twist Away and Memorial Hospital.
I also served and worked with the NTA, Lagos under the Management of Mallam Danladi Bako and Mr Frank Olize till Sept. 1996, when I migrated to the USA to further my studies. Now, I am an American Citizen living in Wisconsin.
Two weeks before I found a lump in my left breast, my husband Stan and I had gone for our yearly physical exams at a Hospital in Michigan where we lived with our two beautiful daughters, Chigozie andChisom. Everything turned out normal for both of us. Two weeks later, I noticed the lump.
I thought it was leftover breast milk, because I had just stopped breastfeeding my younger daughter. So I went back to the Hospital, and after a series of tests, I was told to go for a biopsy where tissue from the breast is removed and examined for signs of breast cancer.
By the time my husband and I went back for the biopsy results, I had already done the crying, the anger, and the denial. I was young. How could I have cancer? I didn’t have any family history of the disease. And I just had about a few months left to graduate with a degree in Medical Case Management.
When we got in to see the doctor, I watched her. She seemed nervous, like she didn’t want to tell me what they had found. So even before she said the words, I knew I had breast cancer. I was only 34.
I was diagnosed with Stage 3 aggressive breast cancer Sept. of 2008 within 2 months of my routine medical check. I can’t tell you the shock and the disbelief of how my world spiraled out of control. The moment I heard the word ‘CANCER’, everything else went blank!
The only thing I remembered saying to my doctor was ‘’I want to raise my kids because nobody can love them better than I can’’. And she responded, ‘’Oh, yes, you are going to’’ But that was all she could tell me at that point.
I thought and acted like it was a death sentence, thoughts of my little angels-my daughters and my dear husband of five years , flooded my mind and I thought I’d drown in my tears!
I ran a few more tests at the Hospital to confirm the extent of damage and was advised the best treatment was to have a surgery, as the only way forward. It was the hardest decision of my life at such