October is breast cancer awareness month.
A month set aside to raise awareness on the effects of the world’s leading killer disease after HIV/AIDS.
Mrs Ellah Kanembirira was diagnosed with breast cancer 2 years ago.
Zimbabwe has maintained the tradition, and has for many years now commemorated the cancer month but beyond the October month, all the hive of activities seem to slow down as the promises to help in the fight against cancer are forgotten and the cancer patients continue the fight for survival.
In August 2016, Mrs Kanembirira was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer.
She was devastated.
“At first I was really troubled but I eventually accepted the situation,” she said.
Breast cancer is one of the leading killer diseases in the country and continues to deplete the population due to its expensive treatment.
“Cancer treatment is expensive, all the sessions of chemotherapy require blood tests,” she added.
Not many people understand what it feels like to live with the disease, the chemotherapy sessions, the nausea that accompanies, the loss of hair and the shame even of losing a breast.
“Chemotherapy is painful, I would vomit, my hair was falling,” Mrs Kanembirira said.
2 years later, the mother of 4 and grandmother’s health has been restored and according to her all traces of cancer are gone although she is on medication for the next 5 years and goes for a review after every 3 months.
As the month of October comes to an end, the onus is now on society to go beyond just one month, but to remain visible throughout the year for as long as cancer remains a leading killer disease and make everyday a pink day.