Iweka Kingsley presents Emily’s diary (Chapter 4)

by Iweka Kingsley

In commemoration of October as the month Breast Cancer awareness globally, Iweka Kingsley writes about a fourteen years old girl diagnosed with breast cancer who shares events of her life through a private diary she keeps.
He believes that the cancer campaign all over the world should be amplified and hopes EMILY’S DIARY will drive consciousness and inspire hope and real actions towards cancer.




Dear Diary,

The transition from girl to womanhood is associated with events like having a crush, a first kiss, being allowed to use make-up and relax one’s hair. My ceremony was different, thorough and rather brutal. It crumbled my existing scope of things and pattern of reasoning. I was chased out of a pink coloured world where I was a Princess waiting for true love’s first kiss. The reality was cruel. I was no longer protected by ignorance. Its covering peeled off me, exposing me to the harshness of truth. A truth rolled into a wrecking ball capable of shattering me completely, if I let it.

Truth has a certain sting. The bad thing is you can’t fight it, you can only resist it for so long, but eventually you’d have to release yourself to its pangs for that’s the only way you can be free. Its sting would pinch, grip, wring you, and then it would leave you. You are never the same afterwards. You are either squeezed, in which case you turn out lean; or you are stretched, in which case you turn out tall, with a heightened sense of things. Then you come to appreciate the sting for it is not the enemy. You realise that the sting does not inject you with the pain you feel, on the contrary, what you feel is actually the sting of truth sucking out the pain, leaving you whole, if you bear till the end.

After the visit to the doctor where she explained the surgery procedure was when I came face-to-face with the actuality of things. It was terrible enough that I had to live with the stigma of having breast cancer, but that I was going to lose my breast? O my God! I’m only fourteen for crying out loud!

I wept, like really wept, and I thought of many horror-ful things and I felt the light of my eyes extinguishing. I could not see my mother’s too, hers were extinguished already, having fought and won a battle, only to realise that the foe had come back, in double portion, to haunt her, even if not directly. She was a veteran, but this war requires all of you, or so it would seem. My mother was helpless and her helplessness vexed me, and honestly I did despise and blame her initially. But then it was not like she had sat in a counsel of fellow cancer mums and decided that her daughter would be next. I guess biology sucks after all. I had learnt about reproduction and offspring in biology class, that helped put things in simpler perspective, but it did not make it easier in anyway.

Without my breast would I be able to get a boyfriend? Won’t I look awkward? I would become ugly. Sorrowful thoughts like those made me weak and cry, and I felt like dying. My sorrow and agony made my mother plunge deeper into the sea of helplessness and she lost weight and much of her shine and beauty. My father was not any better. His hair greyed faster and you could see his shoulders slouched by the burden of two legitimately grieving women.

The doctor had said that they may not have to take out the entire breast, just the affected tissues and that it would look good still afterwards, after all, I had only just started to develop breasts. She also mentioned that there’s nothing that cosmetic surgery could not fix a few years later. I would stand topless in front of the mirror and try to measure just how much of my breast I was going to lose, and how it would look after the surgery. I did not like what I saw when I thought about it. After a while, I realised it was not worth it, if cutting off a portion of my breast was the way to save my young life, then so be it.

Missed anything? Here’s Chapter 1Chapter 2  and Chapter 3 for your reading pleasure.


Iweka Kingsley is the author of DAPPLED THINGS and the Founder of Africa-OnTheRise.com which won the 2016 African Blogger Awards for “Best Blog about Africa” and the “Best Social Issues and Active Citizenship Blog”. He is a creative writer and communications consultant based in Lagos. He also volunteers as a Grant Advisor with the Pollination Project in the United States, an organization dedicated to making daily seed grants of $1,000 to development projects across the world.

You can download and read his latest publication MEMORABLE” on Okada Books here


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