Mom was always ever so bubbly and full of life, our rock and greatest cheerleader. On the morning of 29th August 2017, she woke up fine as usual and went to have a bath. Minutes in, however, she fell and was found unconscious on the bathroom floor with foam on her mouth. That was the moment that would change our lives as a family forever. She was quickly rushed to the ER and resuscitated and later admitted. Several lab tests, CT and MRI scans were performed on her over the next 10 days, and they all indicated that a growth on the left side of her brain may have caused the seizure. However, no definite diagnosis was given, so when Mom was strong and stable enough, she was discharged and put on medication, with clinical visits scheduled every fortnight so that the doctors could monitor her condition. In September, Mom started throwing up and could hardly keep anything in. Since she had a history of peptic ulcers, we panicked. We sought immediate medical attention and she was put on drugs to help keep appetite up and boost her ability to keep food in. By October her condition had worsened. She had complete paralysis on the right side and could hardly speak. This was coupled with mild cognitive impairment and frequent seizures, especially when she was about to pass stool. She was also in a lot of pain and experienced intense migraines which made it extremely difficult for her to sleep. And because of the steroids that she was on, she experienced depression, anxiety, and psychotic reactions.
In January 2018, the tumour had increased in size and was pressing on the left occipital lobe of her brain. An emergency debulking procedure was done on 18th of that month. A sample was taken to the lab and a biopsy performed. The histology results came back four weeks later, but they were inconclusive. A second debulking procedure was done on 19th March 2018. The histology results that came back two weeks later confirmed that the tumour found in Mom's brain was malignant. She was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM). Sadly, by this time the tumour high grade (Grade IV), and even though the operating neurosurgeon had managed to remove a large chunk of it, it was too aggressive and had grown back by the time a post-op MRI was done a few weeks later.
We could not give up. We began chemotherapy and radiotherapy at the Nairobi Hospital shortly after and were able to manage a total of 17 out of the 30 prescribed cycles of radiotherapy. By this time she had become completely blind, was experiencing seizures and twitching in her hands, her memory loss was significant and she had become completely dependent and incontinent. On Thursday, May 31st mom began to experience difficulty in breathing which worsened by Friday evening and we had to rush her to hospital. She spent the night in the Resuscitation Room and because there were not enough beds in the ICU, she remained on oxygen and was transferred to the emergency section of the wards where she stayed on until Tuesday 5th June 2018 when she passed on at 2:14 pm.
Mom left behind a husband whom she loved so dearly and 5 kids, the youngest only 13yrs. The last 10 months have been the longest, hardest and most painful of our lives and equally emotionally and financially draining but she was strong and brave through it all. And even though the prognosis was already really poor by the time we were beginning the chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions, we never gave up as a family. Mom fought a good fight, and we are grateful that she is now finally able to rest.
Naturally, the expenses incurred from the first time she was admitted - the hospital costs, the MRI and CT scans, the medication, the surgeries, treatment plans and now the morgue fees - were and have been overwhelming. We hope that we can be able to give mom a decent send-off and offset the debts and bills incurred thus far. We thank all our family and friends for the support throughout this journey, for praying with and for us, and for their words of encouragement. They have been our rock and we would not have made it this far without them. To all of you and everyone else reading this message, your donation - however little - will be greatly appreciated. All donations will go towards funeral costs, to offset bills, and any expenses to help Dad to get back on his feet and for his last 3 kids to continue with their education. The youngest is in high-school while the other two are in college. We may never be able to repay your kindness and selflessness, but we are truly grateful and pray that God bless you and keep you.