2010. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one story.
2013.Re-connected with my former university mate and multi award winning author Ellen Banda – Aaku.
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COMMON THREADS Negative impact on Relationships Desire to have someone to talk to about what has happening Hope to go on and conquer cancer
Negative impact on relationships ‘Cancer aff ects relationships and I often tell the women I counsel to prepare themselves for the likelihood that their husbands will leave them because I have seen it happen often….’ Late Esther. Died of Cervical Cancer Aug. 2014
‘‘Sexual relationships tend to suffer. When men miss the intimacy with their women they tend to react in ways that put even more pressure on the woman who already has to deal with having cancer.” Aunty Rebecca - Cervical Cancer Survivor
‘‘With hindsight, I realise that he needed support. He watched his wife waste away and his pain manifested in different ways. I didn’t understand then that what he needed was psychological support. We all needed some form of counselling but none was available to us.” Jacqueline. Caregiver at 15 yrs. Lost her mother to Breast Cancer. Talk openly
Talk openly about the situation cont. ‘‘Although we spoke about other things, the cancer and what was happening to Tom hovered over us.’ Bwalya. Caregiver. Lost her husband to colon cancer.
‘‘I kept going because I reminded myself that despite everything, I was lucky to still be alive for my children”. Mwaba – Salivary Glands Cancer Survivor (x2). Hope.
‘‘I was on ARVs to manage my HIV status; I had TB and was on medication to treat it, so it would be senseless to allow cancer to defeat me.” Veronica – Pre Cervical Cancer Survivor. Hope contd.
Challenges 1.Getting the stories Cross cutting Men reluctant to share 2. Resources to Publish the book Say yes. Mean no. Launching Dec. 2014
What are we doing in the meantime Using the stories as talking points at various fora Sharing our stories at events Getting the contributors involved in our activities.
WE CAN make a difference ‘The book is important in that it informs; it allows people to talk about cancer and it provides strong advocacy for cancer victims, without which, many would shrink and lose hope.’ Dr. Sharon