EXCLUSIVE : How I Survived Stage 4 Cancer – Nigerian woman narrates

Francis Achi

Being diagnosed with cancer is a medical report that millions of people dread and when it is stage 4 cancer, then it appears that the patient is on a journey of no return to the world beyond. 

Surprisingly that was the medical condition that a Nigerian woman, Mrs Emelda Oti found herself five years ago, when she was handed the medical  report, which stated that she had cancer that had advanced to stage four, with deadly spread of the cancerous cells all over her body.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with TOTORI NEWS, she revealed that prior to her being diagnosed with cancer, she had suspected something was wrong with her body, but she could not really find out until the year 2015.

“I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in 2015, but before then i had noticed that something was wrong. The symptoms started mildly, then grew into something more serious over the years,” Mrs Oti began narrating her ordeal exclusively to TOTORI NEWS.

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Mrs Oti as a stage 4 cancer patient

“It was in 2015 that I had proper medical check -up and it was discovered that i had a tumour, which was cancerous.

“I felt really terrified. Being diagnosed with cancer sounds like a death sentence. Cancer can be very aggressive. So, I was terrified. I was very scared. I was hit with a very high degree of fear of death. 

Financial Crunch…

“Unfortunately for my husband and I, i was diagnosed at a time when we had big financial crunch. We were very low in cash. I did not have the luxury of seeing any doctor or a consultant.

“I tried going to see a consultant, but they said that i was going to pay huge amount of money and to be candid, we did not have the finances to begin the treatment. It was that bad.

“Being a child of God and as a Christian, I had to come to God in prayer and studying His words. I was diagnosed with cancer, no money to begin treatment. So, the only thing i could without paying was to pray to God.

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As a cancer patient

“We got to know a doctor who was into herbal medicine. She imported her herbs from United Kingdom. I then tried herbal medicine to treat cancer.

Herbal Medicine worsened the condition…

“I will never advice anyone to do this. If you are diagnosed with cancer, please seek the help of a medical doctor to begin treatment immediately.

“In my case, we did not have the finances. I sought God immediately by his Word and I went to see the herbal doctor for treatment. She practiced in the UK, brought her herbs from UK. It was relative cheaper for us to buy the herbs for treatment.

“To tell you the truth that did not work at all. It did not work for me at all. While I was taking the herbs, the cancer that is the tumour was getting bigger, the symptoms were becoming more alarming and very serious.

“Painfully, I had no choice and I did not get better. I was hiding what had happened to me. I did not want people to know what was going on with me. It was a taboo in my mind. Cancer was a death sentence.

“I did not want people to know. I did not want to be an object of pity party by people around me. I hid myself for a long time. I did not have the luxury of seeing a medical doctor for one full year after being diagnosed with cancer.

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Looking very frail in 2015/2016

Rejected by Hospitals, LUTH went on strike…

“Within a year, the tumour had grown bigger and by the time i had the opportunity of going to the hospital, I was rejected. The first hospital i went to rejected me. The second hospital could not treat me, they rushed me to Lagos state teaching hospital, they rejected me too.

“They referred me to LUTH where I was taken to the emergency ward. I was there for some days, very unconscious for like three days before I regained consciousness. I had series of attacks on my body because the organs were shuttling down.

“I was given some medications that at least brought me back to consciousness. It was when I came back to consciousness that I realised that I was just a door from the mortuary.

“I was later taken to another ward after three days. I was there for about two weeks before LUTH went on strike. But before they went on strike, I saw a number of doctors and nurses. They all confirmed that it cancer.

“They informed me that it was an ovarian cancer, they needed to have CT scan twice, the result showed it was advanced, which means it has really gotten bad.

“The doctors at LUTH told me that i wasn’t going to make it, that the cancer had spread itself rapidly, it had spread to everywhere in my body. Even if they were going to give me any form of treatment, it will just be palliative treatment, which means just manage her until she gives up, until she passes away.

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Given palliative treatment at LUTH

“Sadly LUTH went on strike after treating me for two weeks. I had to go home.

Friends to the rescue…India beckoned 

“When I got home from LUTH, I did not know how it happened, but somehow some goodwill friends got to know about it and they decided that I was not going back to LUTH. They were determined and resolved to fund me to go abroad for proper treatment and they made all the arrangement.

“I went to India with my husband. When we got to Manipal Hospitals, Bengalaru in  India, it took them two good weeks to rediagonised me because they refused to rely on any of the results that I came with from Nigeria.

“Amazingly, the India doctors were right for not relying on my medical results from Nigeria. I was diagnosed for ovarian cancer twice in two different laboratories in Nigeria, but in India, I was properly diagnosed with the cancer that is called Endomentrual stomach sarcoma.

“They said it was an usual, a rare kind of cancer. The Indian doctors refused to treat until the result they conducted about my condition came out. They only gave me pain medications. They wanted to be sure of what was exactly wrong before they commenced treatment.

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Manipal Hospital, India

From Clinical Oncologist to Surgical Oncologist….

“When the result came out, Dr. Amit Rauthan, the Clinical Oncologist said that the tumour was too big and he did not know how to handle it. He then referred me to Surgical Oncologist, Dr. Somashekhar S.P.

“The Surgical Oncologist told me that the surgery is a very dangerous one because the tumour was already a very big one. He further informed me that usually when a patient comes, it takes about 3- 5 months to put the patient on the waiting list for surgery.

“But mine didn’t take long because it was like an emergency case. They could see that the cancer was very advanced and I needed to have the surgery immediately.

“They prept me up. I was given some supplement to boost my immunity in order to bring up my blood level. My blood level was very low. It was always below 12%. I was 43 years at that time. They also checked my vital organs and gave me the go ahead to have the surgery.

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Dr. Amit Rauthan

30% chance of survival…

“The doctor gave me 70% chance of not making it alive and 30% of surviving. I was determined with my faith in God to go ahead with the surgery. I was feeling so much discomfort in my body.

‘The pain from the tumour was too much. I went for the surgery and as God would have it, i came out successful. God was involved. His mercies kept me alive. They told my husband and I that we were going to stay for 6 months for the treatment in India

“But to our pleasant surprise, the treatment and everything took only 6 weeks. We decided to stay 6 weeks more so I could eat and put on some weight. I was weighing less than 39kg at that time.

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Dr. Somashekhar S.P

“So they gave me some very good high quality supplement that built back my immune system, built back the loss tissues and repaired things that have been damaged and lost in my body.

God factor …

“I will attribute what happened to me as the power of God because the bible tells me that the word of God is life and it has the power to reproduce after it’s own kind. 

“So if the word of God is life and power, I immersed myself in the word of God. I read and medicate on it day and night. Ì will say that the word of God reproduce itself in me, gave life back to me and God alone deserves the glory.

“I thank God for using those Indian doctors. The doctors were highly gifted in medicine. They were experts. The Surgeon that did the surgery of my case was the 5th best Surgeon in India.

“He said that my case was 1 out of 100 of somebody surviving what I went through because even the machine equipment they relied on did not detect as much what they saw when they cut me open for the surgery.

“It was a miracle according to the Indian doctors. You know that millions of Indians don’t believe in the God of the Bible, they have over a million gods they worship in that country, but the Surgeon that led the surgery told me that I should continue to serve that God I’m serving.

“He said even him as the Surgeon did not believe that I was going to make it alive. My recovery rate shocked him. I was supposed to be taken to the Intensive Care Unit, ICU but they did not. I was taken straight to the ward, which means I was out of danger.

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To God be the Glory…stage 4 cancer survivor, Mrs Oti

“When I remember the cancer ordeal I went through, i just want to thank God for making my life a testimony. Thank you to my husband, children, family friends, cousins, my church members, my secondary school friends and everyone that God used to deliver me from stage 4 cancer,” she concluded.

You can follow Francis Achi @totori master on twitter

Emelda Oti, stage 4 Cancer survivor be reached on YouTube, facebook and Instagram @Emelda Oti

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