Breast Cancer Journey: Strength in Despair – Life Story of Duchess Lizzy

Life Story of Duchess Lizzy

My name is Duchess Lizzy, 26 year old, married and Nigerian. I was born and raised in Zamfara State, Nigeria. I am currently a final year student, studying Broadcast Journalism at NOUN. I studied Mass Communication and Business Administration respectively, at Federal Polytechnic Kaura Namoda, and Abdul Gusau State Polytechnic Talata Mafara, Zamfara State. I sing professionally and I am the CEO Duchess Lizzy Salon and Spa

Living on the brink of life is an experience that can only be imagine. The last 12 months has brought me close to my end. It left me in bewilderment, as I daily struggled in my fears and thought. “You cannot fully understand cancer until it becomes your reality”.

This explains the complexities in the processes leading up to the treatment and thereon. No amount of explaining can vividly describe the brokenness that comes with the diagnosises and the excruciating procedures that follow spontaneously. You would be lucky to have supportive and understanding spouse and family, standing by you through the process. I was.

In 2022, my life changed forever. My Doctor at Asokoro Hospital told me upfront to choose between my life and my breast. I became livid and frustrated. I cried helplessly. I married only a few months ago and couldn’t face my husband with such a breaking news, I thought. I called him and couldn’t speak, he asked what was happening and I told him that the lump has been diagnosed to be cancer. He was broken but assured me he would stand with me throughout the process and nearly 12 months after, he has been my rock on this pathway. He kept his words, he lived with me in the hospitals and spent his life’s savings to get me on my feet again. It’s a journey, no one can prepare you for. It’s sad but painful reality for cancer patients.

Breast Cancer for an expectant mother, is many things, but nothing funny. Many times​, I cried in broken thoughts, I lived through depression, disbelief and accusations. I was new on this path and had no experiences but had to rely on stuffs I read on the internet and the information from friends. In fact everyone became an advisor. This made it so had with choices. My husband and I heard stuffs like, there are alternative cure for cancers, even though the claims have no emperical basis. Some friends were quick to judge, and pass unpleasant comments about our choice of treatment. We became frustrated and perplexed, having difficulty making decisions on certain medical procedures.

This is my reality, but God has a better plan for me. Cancer is here, it’s not gone yet, but I am not done fighting the monster. I thank God, I was a bit early at stage 2, though with invasive ductal carcinoma. I still thank God that I started the fight at a 25 years, fairly a good age to make a decision to fight and to win. Yes, this has impacted my every breathe. Many times, I come under the effects of chemotherapy and other treatment procedures, I become weak, dehydrated, disillusioned and disorganized. I become helpless especially because, I was healthy for most of my whole life, so I lived on big dreams about my future. Those dreams are now threatened.

From some lumps in my breast, which many told me were normal and could disappear on their own, I have had to begin a journey that is impactive all the way.

As I look back to the shocks that came on me after the biopsy, histology and immunohistochemistry and the many months that have gone bye, I am rejuvenated by my favorite scripture, Psalm 46:10, which states,

“Be still,and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the Earth”. I got mocked, and constantly received unpleasant comments. Some detractors were waiting for my end, but “God pass them”.

I will be ironical and insincere to downplay the dramatic changes that followed the sequence and series of treatments, CT Scans, Full blood count, Bone Scan, full body scan and especially the chemotherapy. Chemotherapy changed me. It drained my blood, changed my figments, cleared my hair, affected my posture, physic, taste, memory and sexuality. Yes I lost one breast to surgery, but he loves me still and has provided Everytime.

Surviving 31st of December 2022, is such a huge miracle for me. I am grateful for life. I never knew I would be here, today considering the number of times my skin was pierced.

I am grateful to my family,my parents, my in-laws, and my friends who stood by me in these trying times of my life.

This man. My husband Amb. Michael Awo Ejeh my best friend, my HERO. He is truly a saint. Not only has he put up with me with my dramatic self but he’s carried me through the darkest, hardest and most difficult times of our lives. He is thoughtful, loving, upbeat, compassionate, honest, hard working, funny, God fearing and patient (SO patient). 💕

💜He covered me in love during my cancer diagnosis.

💙 During my miscarriage episode before my cancer diagnosis, he was so caring and loving.

💛He attended EVERY SINGLE APPOINTMENT he was allowed to go to.

💕 He celebrated every successful chemotherapy session and he takes me for outings, and walk therapy.

💙He has always been positive and also reassures me to see God beyond what am going through right now.

❤️He fought alongside with me every step of the way and continues to do so every single day.

🥰Even when I find it hard to pray sometimes he is always there to encourage me.

Caregivers are a key reasons why cancer journeys are not psychologically difficult.

Thank you for reading me. Watch out for the next episode………. Duchess Lizzy

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