If you didn’t read part 1 please do before you continue.
Here’s the link
At first the doctors didn’t detect the cancer and my mother was told that she had pneumonia. Hence she used the drugs for that but to no avail.
On going back for a second check up, her results were sent to south Africa for a second opinion. This was when it was confirmed that she had cancer.
At that time I wasn’t home and hence as usual to check up on guys I’d make phonecalls home. This particular day I called on Saturday evening. My sister was the one who received the call. I asked how church had been on that day and she told me that it was okay though my mum hadn’t gone because she wasn’t feeling well.
Moreover, women from church had come to see her. I then demanded that she give me the phone I talk to my mother.
On talking to her she just said she’ll be fine and nothing else.
Soon enough I was on holiday and went back to Mombasa. At that time she was admitted at Mombasa hospital.
My mother had been operated on and the first thing you’d see when you entered her room was a tube which looked like a hosepipe inserted on her right side. This was apparently to drain out the liquid around her lungs.(The tube drained into a basin by her bedside).
That was when she told me that she has lung cancer.
The tube was very uncomfortable for her. Just imagine a foreign object being inserted into your body and having to sleep with it (still protruding outside too) and having to visit the washroom with it on.
From then on it became a series of prayers and fasting for my mum, family and some friends.
At first I informed only few people and they would help pray. Eventually she would have to start chemotherapy.
This would leave her weak. Hair fell off. It was ever traumatizing to remember the condition you’d left her in whenever you were in school. I became scared of making phone calls home because I would hate to hear that she’d been admitted again
Hardly ever was she at work.
The first trip she made to India revealed that the chemotherapy that she had underwent here in Kenya had made her condition worse.
It now meant that people had to dig deeper into their pockets to facilitate further treatment in India.
The trips to India became quite often as the drugs would soon become ineffective.
She was in hospital more than she was at work. Three children still had to be cared for. Over holidays we become nurses at home. Ensuring she took her medication and all.
This also involved trying natural remedies. Blending all sorts of juices. I got to find out the existence of some plants because of her condition. Even those rare plants we found them. More prayers went up too.
At times I would attend health discussions in church or gatherings and whenever illnesses such cancer were discussed many would easily say that such is caused by lifestyle. What we take into our bodies. My heart would break whenever I’d hear this. To be honest this is because that comes from a point of ignorance. If there was someone who lead a healthy lifestyle in that house, it was my mum.
There were days of great desperation.
There were several people who came to pray for her. Some from church, some who were “led” to come. There were those who put her through crazy diets. Some claimed it was witchcraft. She really tried all possible options to be healed. Some I can’t even mention here.
There were days of financial woes. Where there’d only be like 1000 shillings only with nothing else in the house and we’d have to put her first had buy something like Fennels or Brussel sprouts or celery and the rest of us would just be fine somehow.
But God would come through somehow. The next day someone would just send her money. God sent!
In 2015 I got “expelled” (if I can use that term), from high school. It was early February and I was in my fourth form.
During this period, my mother had been admitted in hospital in Nairobi. Whatever had landed me in trouble met different sentiments from people. Some thought I was stupid. Actually many people did especially my relatives. I’m sure till today they say I should have just stayed. I know they still think it was a dumb move. Some people thought it was brave and encouraged me and supported my decision. Thank you!.
My mother even in her sickbed supported my decision and that’s all that mattered to me.
In my new school I had a hard time. I faced great trials. I don’t know if it’s because I was a new girl or something of that sort but mahn did I have it rough.
At first I thought I had made friends but at the end of it all I was proved wrong.
People I didn’t expect disappointed me. But you know what? There are phenomenal ladies with whom we shared experiences with and we became stronger.( They know themselves).
I wanted to transfer but I couldn’t put my mum through another change of school in just the same year. My final year at that.
I cried more in that school than I had cried in my life. Guys I went through a lot. I just can’t say it all but I have never been through such a bad year as that.
I did my KCSE in tears daily. I would call my mum and she encouraged me. I legit wanted to do my exams as a day scholar because my classmates put me though hell during that time…
2016 I joined university. A private University well because I didn’t get a grade that would qualify me for law in a public uni.
Somehow despite the constant medical bills I never lacked school fees.
2016 and 2017 the routine over holidays was just the same. I would go home whichever chance I got to be away from school.(I can’t get into everything because this post is already too long)
When people are about to die it’s like they sense it.
My mother had called me on several occasions to tell me it was about time.
She passed away on 9th February 2018.I was in Malindi undertaking my judicial attachment. Away from home just like 2012 when my dad died.
You’re never ever ready to accept death as much as it’s inevitable!
I’ve had to end this year because there’s no more heart in me to write further.
But she was amazing.
Next week I will do a final part on dealing with loss and grief and also point out the do’s and don’ts when interacting with those bereaved.(My personal thoughts. Perhaps it may not be the same with others.)
See you again next Friday .