Toye Mary Writes

1. Always Check Yourself! #the Journey begins…

18th January 2017 by Toye Sofidiya0
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I recognise that I can only do this because I am still here…They say it all the time, and you have heard it, repeatedly… “Tomorrow is never promised”.

This, I have found to be so true over the years, especially when I began losing the people who were dearest to me.

My friend Victor Feyisola Omogbehin (20/04/88 – 09/08/10). It happened so suddenly that it has taken me forever and a day to come to terms with him leaving. Not just me, it took his family and other friends a long time to deal with it.

Then there was my dearest brother, Oluwakunlemi ‘Gospelz’ Teniola (31/08/90 – 12/07/11 ). He went on a mission trip in Brazil and did not come back home alive. This too was another tragic loss, a shock to Mummy Teniola, ‘My footballer’ Alex, Tide my (not so) lil baby sis. To everyone who knew him it was so sudden, and the impact of his loss even reached people who didn’t know him personally.

Writing this is harder than I thought it would be, but I am now able to do this without shedding a tear, it needs to be done. So yes, back to “tomorrow is never promised”.

It really isn’t, and I honestly made the mistake of thinking it was. Until it crept up on me like a thief in the night, that thing called Cancer came for me.

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February 3rd 2016,

23 years since my dad had left. On this fateful morning, I am up and getting ready for work in my aunts newly built apartment in Canary Wharf. Whilst in the bath, my hand brushes past my left breast, and I’m forced to double check what I felt. A lump. I laughed and thought “nah I didn’t just feel that”. So, I check my right breast, nothing, back to the left one and I’m reasoning with myself so sure that this wasn’t there before.

  1. ALWAYS CHECK YOURSELF

Was I checking myself hoping to find this lump? Most definitely not. However, ever since I lost my favourite aunt after battling breast cancer and sickle cell, even though I dreaded the idea of it, I learned that it is necessary to ALWAYS check your body and look out for possible changes. Male, female, brother, sister, friend, stranger, aunty, uncle… ALLA DEM! LOL! Basically, everyone who may ever set eyes on this post, I plead with you, CHECK YOURSELF.

It was definitely there, and I definitely did not want to accept that it was. That was the next road I needed to cross.

 

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The next two weeks, I’m living life as though it’s not physically there…like I’m watching a timeline pass by me, yet each time I remember to check for ‘IT’. At work. At church. Then there were the moments where I’d try to talk myself out of it, and remind myself; “I don’t have cancer”. I mean, it couldn’t be…right?

I was in denial for sure, if you looked into Webster’s dictionary and saw denial you would have seen my face wearing a shocked/ confused expression but in my nicest outfit and in my face beat to the max! Makeup became my veil, my covering, my mask. As far as my colleagues at work thought…everyday was date night! I kept getting these;

“Ooh Toye, you look so nice! Love the make up and your outfit”, or the “Got another date have we *wink wink*”

But back to reality. I’m so thankful for finding it when I did. I knew, whatever it was, it wouldn’t remain there for much longer; I had God on my side.

At this point I was living at my aunts temporarily. So it was easy to keep it from my mum for a few weeks, besides I didn’t want to tell her straight away anyway. I knew the time would come where id have to inform her of the interesting news.

Why wouldn’t you want to tell your mum you ask? LooL!!

Well…

No.1

I wasn’t quite sure I could predict what her reaction would be. We had lost Aunty Ronke fighting this battle. Aunty Ronke was mum’s younger sister and they were closer than close, when she left, mum really felt it.

Aunty Ronke was her confidant in any situation, whenever my mum called for help, aunty Ronke would come running, it didn’t matter what she was doing, after her husband and children, my mum was her priority. I miss her.

No.2

I really wasn’t sure of what exactly was going on. At this point in time I didn’t have a clue what was going on, I was just in autopilot. I needed to process this. I just needed some peace and quiet. The last thing I needed was the whole world knowing constantly asking if I was ok, I didn’t want to be a charity case, I didn’t want 100 calls and messages lighting up my phone on a daily reminding me of what I had to deal with; I dunno… I thought it would help me somehow.

No.3

I wanted to be ready to tell them all on my terms; that meant telling mum, my brother and sister, my cousins and then eventually my friends.

After about 2 weeks, I booked my first appointment with my GP. She gave me my initial examination and was convinced that it could not be anything but a benign tumour, but she still wanted to refer me to my local hospital (Newham General) brap brap.. LOOL.. The wait for my first couple of scans began…

 

 

TM x


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