Living with Breast Cancer While in Prison
The people who suffer the most in prison are those that contract diseases, especially terminal ones, when they are in prison. That was my case back in 2011 while I served my three year jail term in prison. I had been tried for a federal felony and jailed.
There was several bullying and sometimes sexual assault even to older women like I me. But that was the norm of the place and we had to live by it. Soon I became accustomed to the life and got used to the daily routine. There were times that we were taken to work as manual laborer in private companies where we were leased, and most of the working conditions there were worse than slavery.
During the end of my first year at the penitentiary, I discovered a lump on the left breast. I became conserved about it and talked to the prison’s personnel about it. I needed to see a medical expert but there was none in the prison’s medical center who would treat me for the condition. That was the response that I got from the prison’s authority. There was nothing that I could do about it.
Despite that, there was fear that I could be suffering from breast cancer. I lost my mum and my older to breast cancer and the lump gave me chills. I felt that I was a high risk victim of the condition. There was nothing like a mammogram check at the prison’s health facility and the idea of taking me for one at another facility was far from reach.
The Battle to Survive the Cancer
About a month later, my family visited me and I shared them my concerned. Out rightly, my husband pre-judged that I was a victim of breast cancer. We needed to do something and very fast if at all I was to be salvaged. They tried all that they could to have me taken for a checkup in vain. They had to result to the law courts which gave an authorization about seven months later. That’s how bureaucracy derails things in many governments.
I was later taken for a check at a local public hospital. A routine mammogram indicated that I had breast cancer and a further biopsy test conducted indicated that it was breast II cancer but an invasive one. The best option for treatment here was a mastectomy since I was serving a jail term. I had the mastectomy done about a month later and I was then scheduled for radiation and chemotherapy.
However, life in the prison is not the same as it is outside the facility. They allowed me to use drugs but being taken from radiation twice a week was something that the personnel at the prison seemed reluctant too. Therefore after one year, my other breast too became infected. It also took the intervention of the court for me to be taken to a health care center.
By this time, my condition had worsened and there was need for proper and special dieting as well as good care. My family started another long process with the courts which would see me transferred from the prison and be kept under house arrest. That what enabled me to fight breast cancer, although still my body is too weak and I have to rely on special dieting and exercising.