My name is Erica. I live in Sakubva, one of the high-density suburbs in Mutare. I live with my husband and my daughter. My husband and I are both unemployed. I started showing signs of illness in 2014. By then I was living in the village. The illness degenerated into unbearable pain and I was taken to Mutare for treatment.
I tried everything within my means to get healed including traditional medicine. It did not work.
In September 2016 I visited a clinic in Harare where I was diagnosed with cancer. I was shocked to hear the results of this diagnosis. Based on my knowledge of cancer I felt hopeless and that life was not worthwhile. We sold the only cow we had in the village to get funds for chemotherapy.
The money was unfortunately insufficient to cover all medical requirements to the extent that I missed my review in 2017. I was only able to buy one out of three recommended injections. The situation turned worse because morphine was hard to come by in Mutare.
I had to endure great pain every day and night. I often had sleepless nights. I got paralysed and could hardly walk out of this room.
My wish was to find time to enjoy the cool breeze outside my house and socialise with my friends as I used to do in the past.
In 2017, I went to Mutare hospital for pain management. I was referred to Island Hospice and Healthcare (Island) for specialised palliative care services. I started to receive morphine regularly. Island donated a wheelchair to support my mobility.
The Island team started to visit me regularly for continuous support based on what I needed including counselling for my family.
The coming of Island in my life brought great relief. The pain has gone low.
Now I can spend peaceful nights as long as I am taking my medication. After two years of spending the whole day indoors I am finding time to bask in the sunshine. Just look at my face. It tells you how happy I am.
World Hospice and Palliative Care Day falls on 13 October 2018 under the theme Because I Matter.
Island Hospice & Healthcare was established in 1979 as the first palliative care institution in Africa. Island has branches in Bulawayo, Harare, Marondera and Mutare. For more information about the services on offer or to contact a branch near you please visitwww.islandhospice.care
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