Nike Ladokun: The wake up call [Nigerian Voices]

by Nike Ladokun

Ever since I was 16years old, I’ve always been a firm believer of the ‘you’re better off not knowing’ philosophy until recently. 27th of September 2016 will always be a reminder for me not to take life for granted and also not to let the scars of my past dictate my decisions in future.

It all started on a Saturday afternoon, 24th of September 2016. I was having a shower when I noticed something in my left breast. My mother died 12 years ago of breast cancer and the first conclusion that came to mind that it was a lump. I’ve never gone for a monogram neither have I ever done a self breast examination because I was scared. I decided not to bother myself with it and convinced myself it was a pimple.

7:30am on Monday morning, I woke and the ‘pimple’ was still there. I started to panic so I told my sister, Kemi about it. She called our family nurse who suggested I go for medical check up. While she was on the phone, questions were going through my head.  Is it breast cancer? Am I going to die? Will my family go through this again? It really bothered me.

Kemi suggested we go to a general hospital since they have different specialists. We left very early on Tuesday and when we got to the hospital, there was a huge crowd waiting to see the doctor. Kemi and I were doing our best to remain calm but we were both thinking the same thing. Four hours later I met one of the doctors, a rude female doctor who was so insensitive and made me panic more when she told me to do a breast scan. We went to their Radiology department and we were shocked to see that no one was available to attend to us. I couldn’t imagine what would have happened to me if it was an emergency. We had no choice but to go to a radiology lab close to the hospital.

We got there by 11:57am and there was a huge crowd waiting to be attended to. We waited for two hours before I was finally called in for a scan. The scan took 30 minutes and we were able to get the result two hours later.

We went back to the hospital and it was almost empty. I looked at the time; it was almost 4:30am. Luckily for us, the doctor was still available to attend to us. He looked at the result, it was not Cancer but a Breast Abscess. Breast Abscess is a painful collection of pus that forms in the breast, it’s less harmful and removable. The doctor told me I’ll do a minor surgery to remove it. My sister and I looked at each other, we had the same look on our faces; a sign of relief.  It was then at that moment I took this cancer scare as a sign from God. I’ve never gone for tests before I was afraid of the result. This incident made me realize that it’s better to be safe than sorry and even if the result is not what I would expect, I could get treated as soon as possible and still live a normal life.

I felt like it was a second chance from God, a wake up call for me and I’m glad I had this experience because I can finally move on from the pain of losing my Mom to cancer and not let fear rule my life.

This entry was submitted as part of the Nigerian Voices competition organized by

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