What you need to know:
- For 21 years I have walked this journey with my husband.
- At first, feeding him was hard. But now that I have done it for decades it has become a routine.
- The job I enjoy doing every morning is cleaning the tracheostomy tube.
When he started getting sick, I thought it was just a passing pain. I was wrong.
For 21 years I have walked this journey with my husband, who was diagnosed with tongue cancer. As a pastor and a counsellor, I know what it takes to stay focused. Had this happened before I knew God, I would probably have left.
But now I know better and I am in this to stay. I am never turning my back on him.
I knew it was not going to be easy when the doctors opened up my husband’s chin. Nobody, including the nurses at the hospital, wanted to dress him. They were all afraid. I would dress the wound myself.
At first, feeding him was hard. But now that I have done it for decades it has become a routine.
Sometimes I get overwhelmed but very many people have stood by me, including my prayer warriors.
I also draw strength from my husband despite his sickness. Vitalis, my loving baba (as I call him), is a strong man, even when he is in pain. He insists on doing some things for himself.
Initially, I would feed him and give him medicine. But of late, he does it all by himself.
The job I enjoy doing every morning is cleaning the tracheostomy tube. I remove it, wash it with warm water and a piece of cloth and insert a new one.
I thank God for the tracheotomy because it sort of gave him a second chance. I remember in 2018, my husband was unconscious from morning to evening, unable to breathe and in pain. I was scared.
But, I prayed, called an ambulance and took him to the hospital. His lungs had been swollen, interfering with his breathing. He recovered hours later.
Every second counts and every day is a gift. We thank God for every day we spend with him.
This journey has taught me to live in peace with my neighbours and those I work with because they are my support system.
Never judge those around you for not helping because they might not have the money to. But be grateful for their prayers, which can change the situation.
My good relationship with people has helped make our lives easier. They pray with us, keep us company and support us in their own small way.
It has not been easy for our five children. They have taken care of their father wholeheartedly, they have never complained and have had to forego other developments in their lives to attend to their father’s needs.
Eldoret Hospice has walked this journey with us, they have been visiting, giving counselling and at times giving us drugs for free.
My husband and I now give talks to cancer patients who have given up on life, encouraging them to accept the situation first.
A cancer diagnosis is tramautising, but for you to walk the journey, you must accept the situation.
The Church has also been my solace. When I get overwhelmed, I always tell God to help me deal with the situation.