It is always very exhilarating when we read about or meet a Cancer Survivor. This explains why the news on how the Nobel Laureate and highly respected writer, Wole Soyinka overcame the pangs of cancer brings great delight to our hearts. Soyinka was first diagnosed with cancer in December 2013, and just last month, he was certified to be free of the disease. As Africans continue to experience an increase in the number of survivors, so also will the way the disease is viewed continue to be demystified. In Soyinka’s interview in a Premium Times report , he explained that the disease is not a death sentence as most people typically take it.
“Many people feel it is a death sentence. Family feel it; friends, colleagues, they begin to look at you as if you are a ghost once there is rumor you have cancer. No, cancer is not a death sentence, it is curable, I have undergone the treatment and I am able to tell you that I even have a model, that’s my certificate.”
Another key factor in managing the onset stages of the disease is engaging in periodic annual tests, which helps with detecting the disease early in order to take appropriate remedial actions. With regards to this, Soyinka further said:
“It never occurred to me to test myself because men have their separate test like women,” he said. “And I have heard people who lost very dear ones, closed ones. They just told me, ‘Prof, we hope you’re having your own?’ And I told them I had one 10 years ago and he said, “No, no, do it regularly.” And by accident in December last year, I discovered that I had cancer.”
At present, Soyinka is using his survival experience to educate and implore others to be more proactive in engaging in tests available to them while encouraging those at the helms of affairs to take charge in ensuring health matters related to the cancer menace is taken with more seriousness. “The important thing is that I am convinced that we have enough funds in this nation to build cancer centers, including research that this nation require,” he said. “It is very capital intensive, some of it, but there are many ways and treatments for cancer just like there are many kinds of cancer. Even diet forms an important part. Diet is critical.”
Surviving Cancer takes a lot of inner strength and strong desire to be a conqueror, complying with all required health treatments while putting utmost faith and trust in God for a perfection of the healing process.