Pamela first discovered a lump in her breast five years ago. With no money for transport or hospital costs she had to take out a loan of 20,000 KSH (around £150) to pay for medical care. She was diagnosed with stage 3-4 breast cancer and had surgery to remove the lump. In 2016 a blister appeared on her breast which developed into a painful wound. With no money, and still paying off the loan for her previous treatment, Pamela was unable to afford to see a doctor. Left untreated her wound grew larger and deeper, and didn’t heal. During this time she suffered in pain, only able to buy occasional paracetamol when she could afford it. A friend put her in touch with a breast cancer survivor called Susan who knew that Busia Hospice could help. Susan told us about when she first met Pamela.
“Pamela already had stage 4 cancer. She had a very bad wound on her breast. I was shocked. I thought to myself, how am I going to help her? With the community we helped her raise money for treatment. Pamela had eight cycles of chemo but the money has ran out. She has had a rough journey. Her husband left her and her four children when he discovered she had cancer. I helped her reach out to Busia Hospice staff who are now taking care of her .”
Like Pamela, most people diagnosed with cancer in Kenya are already in the late stages. Whilst the health care system develops to improve access to cancer treatment, we are helping to fill the gap in palliative care provision so that people like Pamela do not have to live and die in pain and isolation. Nurses from Busia Hospice regularly visit Pamela. They helped care for her wound, and provide her with emotional support and pain relief, so she can continue caring for her children and home.
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