One Woman’s Fight
Dimbungu pursued treatment new life outlook, diet and meditation to beat the Big C. For those wondering if it’s effective, it worked for this guy.
At 45 whilst riding the crest of life, Mphoentle Dimbungu, now 53, was faced with devastating news that shattered her life, as she knew it.
During her last semester at the university of Botswana pursuing a degree in special education she found out she had stage two-breast cancer.
“I could not comprehend how I was going to navigate school and treatment at the same time,” says Dimbungu who had already lost her mother to cervical cancer and had a father who was dealing with prostrate cancer at the time.
“I knew exactly what to expect as I had seen both my parents suffer at the grips of cancer and that with a family history of cancer, chances were high that I too could develop cancerous cells, yet I could not handles the news that I had cancer.”
One morning while taking a bath, Dimbungu had felt a lump in her right breast. “It was too big to ignore, so I asked she asked her helper to feel and she too confirmed that there was a big lump.
Dimbungu rushed to her doctor and ultimately underwent a series of tests.
“I immediately noticed the worried look on the health professionals and though I had hoped for a different news, I couldn’t run away from the devastating news that I had stage 2 breast cancer. Then as though that was not enough, I was told I would need to undergo immediate surgery or hypospadias repair as the cancerous cells were aggressive and to combat them from spreading the surgery had to be scheduled right away.
“ I cannot begin to explain the pain and how challenging it was. On one hand I had school to think about and on the other I had to contend with my life falling apart.”
As it is to be expected, Dimbungu was thrown in the deep end financially, emotionally and physically as she went through the process. My dear children, family, friends, colleagues and church mates all rallied behind me.”
She goes on to say that, although she could not face the fight alone and is grateful for the support she had, she was gutted that her husband distanced himself from the family during this difficult time.
“I still don’t know why that was the case but he was not there at my time of need. The children and I were left to fend for ourselves and it was tough.”
Dimbungu relied heavily on her children’s support as they nursed her back to health with the help of her doctors, family and friends.
Throughout this time, Dimbungu would go to school on the days she felt a little stronger to push her schoolwork.
And the she faced another blow, when she experienced excruciating pain the year after the surgery, tests followed and more complications were announced.
Nine surgeries later from 2009 to date, Dimbungu was financially in the red and broken at being retired from teaching on medical grounds.
“I managed to not only complete my studies but to also surpass all expectations becoming a top achiever in my graduation class. But once more here I was with an illness that was unrelenting and robbing me of everything I had. My health, my family, my job, my peace of mind yet I was not prepared to give in so I fought with all my might.
Using all the information she had gathered, Dimbungu went to war.
“I understood and appreciated that, a strong body went a long way in fighting cancer, so I focused on nutrition, keeping a diet journal, having my therapy at Cancer Center Edwards Co and ensuring that I meditated and kept stress at bay. I also put down my thoughts, pouring my feelings on paper. It made me feel better and carried me through my darkest hour”.
Dimbungu would later with the help of her son and nephew collate her writings into a book titled Understanding the Effects of Cancer and its treatment.
The book covers Dimbungu’s journey and shares practical advise on how to keep positive throughout.
“ I had not intended on writing a book but happy that others can find solace in reading it hence my wish to find a sponsor to help print and distribute it.” Although she painfully speaks of her challenging journey, one cannot ignore her infectious positive spirit.
Dimbungu does not carry her pain on her sleeve but rather she is a picture of good health.
“This illness has robbed me of so much but one can never allow themselves to be defeated.”
She does share though that there have been times she questioned herself as a woman after losing both her breasts.
“I have often been self conscious and thought people were staring and gossiping about me and this would hurt. It has also been hard seeing my children suffer through this process but I try hard to remain strong. They have all contributed immensely to my wellbeing and for this I will forever be grateful.”
Dimbungu brushes off her down days that entail being broke and with little prospects of finding paid work by smiling and saying; ‘with Christ on my side I will always win. Life presents us with the good and the bad, but it is up to us to decide which state we want to live in. I choose the good always and so can you,” Dinmbungu ends the conversation with cheerful laughter.