Binta Abubakar Kafori, a 30-year-old resident of Bauchi metropolis is battling the derided breast cancer that has already cost the poor household hundreds of thousands of naira.
The disease is not only a reverie luxury to her poor family; it has also confined her to her dirty room that is already oozing with the smell of rotten flesh.
The ooze, presumably a sign of the deteriorating condition is already taking a toll on Binta. She has almost lost hope and her situation is becoming gloomier—medication is not forthcoming and the family is getting poorer; “because my treatment has already drained the house financially”, she said.
She told WikkiTimes that the disease is now on the verge of claiming one of her breasts. “It started out as a mere simple boil on my right-hand side three years ago.
“I noticed an average pain around my breast from what appeared to be a bubble caused by boil. That time we were living with my family in Azare, so I went to Federal Medical Centre Azare to seek medication.
“Doctors at the facility resolved that the bubble be removed. Low and behold, it was removed and I was taking prescribed drugs,” Binta recalled while struggling to garner the courage to stream her words as a pool of tears run down her cheek.
Binta, who is also a mother of five, said a few months after the bubble was taken off her body, a big tumour sprang up with more debilitating pains day and night, at many occasions, it deny her a peaceful night’s rest.
“Doctors at FMC Azare told me that I was having breast cancer. They recommended that I should go University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital to consult with Oncology experts.
“I subjected to series of Chemotherapy the cost of which my entire family cannot afford to settle to enable me to get treatment.
“I felt the entire world is shaking and pity myself seeing how expensive cancer treatment is and how family poverty is denying the care that I deserved.
“To sum everything up, I cannot adequately capture in my disjointed words how it feels being a poor breast cancer patient.
“I have children and my husband and I struggle to take care of them, but we both have not enough to continue because we spent all we have”, she added.
Treating cancer in Nigeria is too expensive. Amid deteriorating economic conditions for most families in the country, cancer patients like Binta hardly could afford to complete their cancer treatment.
Binta said bearing the financial burden of treating cancer, worsens the abject poverty her family grapples with, adding, the situation has compounded her agonies.
She said despite the havoc wreaked on her by the diseases, her only comfort was the love and care shown to her by her husband and the rest of the household.
“I was not stigmatised throughout the period I strife to treat my cancer. They are always around me. They do for me all that I wanted.
“A lot of people have supported me. Some I don’t even know nor share an iota of family ties with. The biggest of which is when Hajiya Mariam, ex-wife of Bauchi State Governor donated N150,000 to me after she saw some of the pictures of my condition on social media” Binta said.
Binta told our reporter that doctors at the Abubakar Tafawabalewa University Teaching Hospital Bauchi told her that the affected breast must be removed to enable her to survive.
“I felt as though my time in this world is over on hearing that my breast will be removed. I cannot imagine myself living with just a breast when my fellows are having God-given two breasts”, she added.
She said although doctors at the hospital did not disclose to her when the affected breast will be mutilated and the amount it will cost her, Binta is already feeling dejected while losing hope for a second chance.
“I don’t know if at all I will survive it. I am just coming to the hospital for coming sake,” Binta who is bedridden said looking into the limitless universe.
Binta’s husband, Malam Abubakar Karofi said he has not lost hope that his wife will survive the monster if given the right treatment.
“I am ever ready to give my last kobo to get her health back so she can live the kind of life that she desired.
“I am not yet defeated in this struggle until the last minute. It is not enough to be brave but also be brave enough to squarely face crippling dangers and challenges of life,” he said.
Binta is still at the hospital, but the financial purse to retain her get full medication at the hospital is a major source of concern for the entire family; for, her treatment has already drained their purse.