Nankinga Alice is a 21 year old beautiful girl who is battling with ovarian cancer. Fighting this disease at such a tender age cost her a big part of her life and destroyed any hope of achieving some of her dreams like finishing her bachelors in Human Resource Management at the university. She is one of the few patients from the Uganda Cancer Institute that are in the remission process. She shared her fight with us and how she is overcoming it.
When were you diagnosed with cancer?
I first discovered that I had cancer in 2014, by then I was 18 years old. I had an ovarian cyst which I had removed by operation. The doctors tested me for cancer and said that I was okay but a year later, I tested for cancer and the results were positive. It was at that moment when I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I was in shock, I thought I was going to die. Death was the first thing I thought about as I lost all hope and kept on crying, asking myself why this was happening to me.
How did you manage to overcome that state of hopelessness?
I was forcefully admitted at Mulago hospital and my friends kept on checking on me, through this experience I managed to accept what I was going through.
How did this affect your future?
One thing I know is that I am going to be motherless, there are very many things I cannot do like exercise, dancing, there are some things I cannot eat. I am limited on what to do and where to go, it has stopped my dreams for a while but I know that I will get back on track.
How did this affect your relationship with your partner?
Before my partner asked me out I had to tell him everything about my sickness and he accepted me as I was.
Tell me about your experience of the cancer treatment
The experience was bad and good. It was good because I met various people with different experiences I learnt from. The bad experience came in due to the fact that the medicine is worse than the disease, I found it very painful and traumatizing, if you do not have strong will you can commit suicide. I used to get seven drips per day for a full week, from eight to one am in the morning I was in the hospital waiting for the drip to get done and I go home. On top of that some drugs were not available and I had to get them bought outside the hospital which was very expensive. I used to get an injection that cost five hundred thousand Uganda shillings and it had to be administered to me thrice a week, so someone that doesn’t have money can miss out on that medication, yet these are injections that boost immunity. Other than this most of the medication is provided at the cancer institute.
How did you relatives and friends take the news of your diagnosis?
I didn’t realize at the beginning that my family was devastated because everyone was supportive and very nice to me. My mum was devastated, she gave up and thought that I was going to die, along with my sister they kept on crying but they had to be strong to help me go through this. Everyone was in shock, they could not believe that I could be sick, they did not take it so well. After sometime they talked to the doctors and received some encouragement to help me.
Do you have an amount of time left for you to live on earth?
One of my friend’s told his dad about my condition and how my finances were not enough to cater for my condition. “Help my friend she needs money”, he told his dad and he responded positively so we started from there.
I do not have any amount of estimated time and the doctor said he doesn’t know, but it is up to God. I am taking some medication and it is working so I am getting better. It feels good to know that I have hope of getting well. I had even made a bucket list but cancelled it when I realized that I was going to live. I have always wanted to do bungee jumping, sky diving, adventure and swimming. One of the things on my bucket list was meeting Sheba Karungi, it was a birthday gift from my sister and I was in shock. I could not believe, I thought about it the whole night.
What advice can you give to people out there with a similar condition like yours?
The best I can say is the cure is in your diet. God put the plants and everything on earth and that is the medicine. When we eat a lot of processed foods from the supermarket we tend to put our bodies in a very acidic state which gives the cancer cells a comfortable environment to grow. We have to eat vegetables, fruits, natural juice and avoid consuming a lot of sugar, keep on a clean diet. If this diet is maintained you reach a state where the cancer cells cannot spread and they just die away slowly. I got to know this from a friend’s dad who is taking care of me.
Now that you are getting better, are you planning on going back to school?
Yes, I have been pleading for my mum this whole year, but she says that I cannot mix my sickness with the books, those r two stressful things. I hope to start my academic journey again in the beginning of next year when I go for cancer testing in December this year and the results are negative.