Fatima has been living all her life in Rivers State, Nigeria with her husband Mohammed who has international trade business. The spouse was travelling back from turkey when she started feeling pain in her breast. Around this time, she also developed a backache that she blamed on an unfamiliar mattress.
“I was very lethargic and couldn’t muster up the enthusiasm to do much,” recalls Fatima. “It was unlike me.”
Soon after returning home to Nigeria, Fatima spent the better part of the day reeling from the pain. It was then when Fatima realized she needed to see a doctor right away.
A few days later, her physician saw something unusual during a breast ultrasound, an imaging of the breast that uses sound waves to produce pictures of the internal structures of the breast.
“That was my first ‘red flag’ that something was wrong because my doctor stared at the monitor for what I deemed to be way too long,” Fatima remembers. To confirm her doctor’s suspicions, she underwent a second scan, which revealed a growth of mass on her left breast.
Even though the diagnosis was uncertain, Fatima’s physician made her an appointment at Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital with surgical oncologist.
She explains, “My doctor said, ‘it’s breast cancer, you have tumor in your left breast. Right now it cannot be staged properly. Still through surgery the tumor need to be removed. The stage of breast cancer is based on how far the cancer has spread in the body, and can be determined through surgery.
She and her husband discussed about the treatment and the surgery and decided to get treatment somewhere in abroad with doctor’s recommendation, she says. “My husband did lots of research on the best and cheap hospitals of countries like USA, India, Norway, America, Spain where cancer is cured best. And ended up finalizing India”, says Fatima.
They instantly moved to Delhi’s Medanta hospital, where doctors said Fatima needed a surgery. She had a CT scan, and surgery was scheduled within a week of her appointment. She went through lumpectomy, Breast-conserving surgery in which only the part of the breast containing the cancer is removed.
When she woke up, with Mohammad and Dr. Ashok Vaid by her side, Fatima learned that she had cancer and needed chemotherapy. But, with a smile on her face, Dr. Vaid said that her cancer was caught at its most treatable stage, and she was therefore very lucky.
With her cancer in remission and feeling fine for her slowly recovering health, Fatima says she wish to be back into her modus life soon. Me and my husband is still looking for a way to “thank Treatment Traveler and everyone at Medanta Hospital who helped save my life,”
“After you’ve been diagnosed, you have a million questions swirling around your head,” Fatima says, “and you may not want to take up your doctor’s time – or feel uncomfortable asking – some of your questions. That’s where Treatment Traveler’s medical advisor and personnel helped us. Not only with my treatment but with accommodation, finding the best hospital, international patients affairs and with almost everything”