NTV Property Show host, Janet Kanini Ikua (pictured below), has been diagnosed with lung cancer. The N-Soko presenter broke the sad news on her Facebook page Wednesday.
“Four weeks ago I came to India seeking a medical answer – well I found it, and it was not what I expected. At all,” she wrote. “Here’s what the latest medical reports say – lung cancer. Stage 4, meaning it has spread from the primary lung site into lymph nodes.”
Highlighting the struggles she is going through, she said: “Clearly my body is staying true to my love for drama and theatrics because a blood clot has also decided to hang out in the heart muscle.”
“Doctors have called it ‘organized’ – yaani it’s fixed in the muscle with little chance of moving so I’m safe from that. We can focus on treating the cancer,” she added.
Janet says it has taken her several weeks to publicly to come to terms. She, however, says her public declaration has given patients with a similar ailment hope. “I realise that discussing this condition over the past 3 and half months has helped people – those with similar symptoms, those with other ailments and those who are affected by caring for the sick,” she posted.
“I know that sickness is not my portion, and if by sharing my experience I can help to educate and comfort others, then so be it.”
The TV host, who flew to India for treatment accompanied with her husband on September 10, says going to India for treatment was the best decision. “Our doctor is a top world-renown surgical oncologist; he even invented a surgical procedure that is named after him. And yet he is the most humble man, soft spoken, ready to listen to all concerns and questions. His consultation fee is 1,000 rupees (almost Ksh1,600) – far less than the amounts you find in Nairobi,” she says.
Janet further narrated the following morning she was placed on a body scanner. “Next morning I was promptly admitted and prepared for this machine that brings many Kenyans to India – the PET MRI scanner. It uses radiation to get an amazingly accurate picture of the internal workings of the body, so that you scan the entire body at a go,” said Janet.
Things would, however, be different if she undertook her treatment in Nairobi.
“If I had stayed in Nairobi I was going to go in and out of CT scans, MRIs and ultrasounds around my body to discover what’s up, which would have meant a lot of money, time and uncertainty.
“On Friday 11th September I was injected with a substance that made me radioactive. I was hot! LOL! (smile emoticon). Even hubby had to wait an hour before I was safe enough to be around him, and for the next 10 hours I drank loads of water to wash out the radiation.”
Janet recollected: “On Saturday the PET MRI scans were back so Doc sent me for an FNAC. In this process a very long needle was inserted to the lymph node at the base of my neck just above the shoulder blade. This is the test whose results led me to remember Sunday September 13th as a significant day in my life – the day I was told there is cancer in my body.”
Janet says all through, her loving husband was there to support her. “I won’t bore you with my emotional reaction. At least hubby was by my side and the nurses turned out to be very supportive.”
She further wrote: “The next day I was given a local anaesthetic and the lymph nodes on the left side of my neck-shoulder blade were cut into – a lymphatic incision – so as to get a tissue sample. The weird thing is that I was awake throughout the procedure, and they wanted this so that I indicate whether I feel any pain.”
“The tissue sample was then sent to the lab for a biopsy to determine whether I have the specific gene that will allow me to be treated with tablets only instead of chemotherapy.”
Janet recalled the struggles she had to go through to eat. “Shock on me when the relatively painless procedure was over and the local anaesthetic started wearing off. OUCH!!! Suffice it to say hubby had to feed me like a baby for a full day coz moving my neck and head hurt. I was discharged to rest in the hotel as we awaited the biopsy results that would determine the way forward with treatment.”
The surprisingly upbeat TV presenter says the process of chemotherapy started not long ago. “Chemotherapy begun last week with 22 hours continuous of pre-med drip to control side effects. I’m supposed to remain in New Delhi for some time till the doctors confirm the best drugs that I can come home with to continue chemo.”
With the diagnosis complete, her hubby came home to be with the children. “It was hard leaving them without us for so long, and it was heartbreaking watching them say “Come here” whenever we Skyped. My Mum came to replace him and to fuss over me. She is always like “Kanini drink more water…make sure you eat…are you warm enough…” Hehe it’s interesting to be the baby again.” (Citizen Digital)