Pain makes us Stronger!!!

             “Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.” William Goldman

Chemotherapy is not a walk in the park. Chemo drugs are toxic!!!!!!! They take a brobdingnagian toll on the body (Yes brobdingnagian is a word. I promise it is. Thank me now for teaching you a new word). The more sessions you have the longer it takes for your body to recover. Come to think of it, the body never trully recovers. 2 weeks of medicines then a week off and the cycle starts again. That one week off is not enough for the body to trully recover.

Allow me to get technical. I know it will be kind of boring but bear with me. You can just skim through but I’m hoping you won’t. It’s not that long, Scouts honour.

“Chemotherapies cause harm to the healthy cells in your body as they kill the cancer cells.

There is another way chemotherapies cause damage to users. They are toxic, poisoning your body. Some are much harsher than others, but all are toxic to one degree or another. Usually more than less. The resultant buildup of poisons and toxicity in your body causes the nausea, vomiting, hair loss, fatigue and illness that many experience  with chemotherapy.

For most people the first two rounds of chemotherapy are a breeze. No bad problems. But as chemotherapy continues, the nausea, vomiting, hair loss, fatigue and illness develop.

What happens is that the liver started out being strong enough to handle the chemo toxins. The body sents the toxins to the liver to be removed as it cleans the blood. Which it is supposed to do. And the liver, as it is decently healthy, is able to remove them. 

But at some point it can no longer effectively get rid of the chemotherapy toxins.

The kidneys also attempt to get rid of chemotherapy toxins, but they are not capable of detoxing nasty toxins like chemotherapy toxins, and become damaged by these toxins. Some chemotherapies do cause renal failure. Too much chemotherapy can kill you faster than the cancer would”.

Phhhhheeeeew…. Even I got bored typing that!!!!!. Hopefully you learned something new and now understand why my 3rd hemo session was sooo painful.

The thought of going in for more chemo had me running scared. I was petrified!!!!

And then the time came for my 4th session. I woke up and went through my usual routine. I contoured my face applied blush and even used a waterproof mascara that I had bought just for this occasion. I was not taking any chances, I mean do you know how one looks like when she she cries and her mascara runs??? I did not want to look like I stepped out of a horror movie!!!!.
This time around I was not worried about throwing up elegantly. I had gotten rid of the horse hair that had occupied my head before and was now rocking short hair although no by choice. My hair had fallen off. The little that was left made me look like I had Alopecia(not making a mock of people that suffer from alopecia). I rock short hair so I wasn’t sad to chop it off.

My entourage was there to offer moral support. I went through the pre-chemo routine, had a few laughs with the nurses, took a few sefies(Now I know you all love selfies so don’t act like you don’t!!!). To be honest my heart was throbbing. I was so not ready to be in pain. It was going to hurt  that much I was sure of. The anticipation of pain is sometimes just as bad as the actual pain.

I want to say that my stomach was in a knot but I was missing a large chunk. I did not have enough stomach to tie a knot. 🙂

The session was awful. At some point I had no idea what to do with my life. My whole body was itchy and when I say my whole body I mean my whole body!!! Even my hair,,, Like seriously my hair itched plus other places that I cannot mention here so I will not.

And then the nausea kicked in, without any warning and it kept kicking in. Then came the running stomach. Getting to the little girls room took forever. I decided to camp there because I had no idea what was going to come out of which opening. Theeeeeen came the dizzy spells. I was also sweating like a pig(Who came up with that saying???? A pig does not even sweat!!!). All I wanted was to lay on the toilet floor and wake up when it was all over.

I was a mess but thanks to my waterproof mascara I still looked good. I was hot and in a mess… I was a hot mess(hahahahahaha).

Once back in bed the nurse decided to give me more anti-nausea medicine. It did not help. Neither did the dose after that. Chemo was done but I had to stay a while longer. I was not getting better no matter how much they tried. I remember yelling(in a soft voice since I did not have strength to really yell) at the nurse and telling her to let me go home. I was cold but sweating. I was dizzy. I was in pain. I wanted to go home.

They finally allowed me to go home. Yeeeeeesss…………………………….

Once home I ran to my room, well more like walked quickly. Everything hurt. It was cold outside and that had a monumental effect on my body . The pain was crazy. I was shaking, crying, cold and tired. I decided to take a warm shower thinking it was the perfect way to warm me up. Boy was I wrong. I experienced a new kind of pain the minute the water hit my body. Water hurt. Just how crazy is that!!!!!!!!!!!!
I ran out and dived back in bed, wet and in tears. The next few days nilijipiga passport.

It’s funny……..The thing that is meant to make you better is the same thing that hurts you. But then again Jehovah does NOT allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear. He will ALWAYS make a way out so that we can be able to endure.

So what is a little pain, or nausea, or feeling and looking like a hot mess?????

The really rough, bad, ghastly, horrendous things that we go through in life end up shaping us, they end up making us stronger, tenacious. Embrase those moments. Learn from them afterall,,

We have to go through pain to Grow!!!



Powerful Experiences!

“Don’t you notice that there are particular moments when you are naturally inspired to introspection? Work with them gently, for these are the moments when you can go through a powerful experience, and your whole worldview can change quickly.”  Sogyal Rinpoche

My whole worldview had changed. One moment I was happily skipping to my lou and the next I had cancer and surgery. I had done alot of thinking and come into terms with the whole situation. Like I said before, my mama had gone through this journey but she was not doing as well as we had hoped. I guess that is why I had no time to wallow in self pity. How could I when she had been admitted once again?? My list of powerful experiences was getting bigger and bigger.

Now please DO NOT get me wrong. Powerful expreciences are not always bad. They can be good,, really good. I am blessed I tell you. I have friends who were once strangers. Women I cherish with all my heart. I am a member of a certain facebook group and the minute I posted my fears there, these women mobilized themselves. They wanted to go visit my mama at our home in machakos(the place to be) but before they could visit she was admitted. I was in a state of disarray so much so that it did not resonate with me when My surgeon told me I had to have chemo. But these wonderful women took turns visiting my mama and assuring me that she was getting better.

Back to that chemo part. During my post Surgery appointment, I was given a break-down of the surgery. They had removed a 5.5cm tumor, a sizeable chunk of my big intestine and 45 lymph nodes(wanted to ask how many kg’s that was to see how much weight i had lost…comeoooooooone ladies,,you feel me right!!!) They had found cancer in the lymph nodes. I needed chemotherapy….

Wait,,,, hold on,,,,, what??? “You mean I’m not done”? I thought tumour out and that’s it.

I asked for details but the surgeon could not give me any. He reffered me to an Oncologist. Yes I now had one of those. I was accumulating doctors.

The Oncologist appointment was on a Friday. He was a tall bald man(He still is by te way, just so you know. Weird things happen everyday. Like he can grow hair all of a sudden or shrink). I was going to have combination chemotherapy. This meant that two different type of drugs were going to be used inorder to prevent cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body. One drug was going to be administered Intravenously and the other orally. I would have about 8 sessions. He went on and on and on. I zoomed out. Blame it on information overload. But I remember thinking “This man resembles that energizer bunny and he also sounds like he is using those batteries”.

I know most women would have asked, “What are the chances that i will loose my hair”? I, however am not most women. All I thought was, “how will I look bald”? I am #teamshorthair so I was sure I would sooooo totally rock a bald head. I was getting good at taking the lemons  life was handing me and slicing them up for tequilla shots.

Once home I took to google. I am a master googler. I have even googled if googler is a word. For those of you wondering if it is, you can rest easily tonight in the knowledge that I Salome taught you a new word. Yes googler is a word.

February 6th. That was the day I was going to start the next stage of my journey: Chemotherapy. I was not yet done having powerful experiences. Heck, I had just started. My worldview was changing day by day. One things was constant though, and that was Jehovah’s love and mercies. He was taking me through it, He was leading the way. And that’s why all I could think was, “Bring it on!!!”

I Salome was welcoming those powerful experiences. I was going to continue taking them head on.

My lemons were sliced and with a tequila shot in my hand I raised my glass.  Cheers…………

To powerful experiences!!!.

You are too young

One thing I kept hearing after my diagnosis was: “You are too young”.

I heard it the first time I got the news. “You have Colon cancer. It’s sad seeing that you are very young. It usually affects older people”. Every time I heard that I pictured myself in a red flamingo dress sliding on a stage and shouting “taarraaaaaaa……Here I am…… I have it …..I have it”!!!!!!

It really did not matter if I was young or not but it’s like people thought I would feel much better if I knew that the majority of people who have colon cancer are older.

I never knew how to respond. “Should I say thank you because they think I’m young or be sad that I have old peoples cancer.” Most of the time I  just stood or sat there staring at them  and nodding till they felt uncomfortable(mean huh!!!)

New year came and with it new anxieties. *Sigh*

I have never ever made new year’s resolutions but I felt compelled to make at least just one this time around and it was: ” This year I will beat cancer.”

I had a wonderful support system so this was going to be smooth sailing. Who I’m I kidding!!….. It was going to be hard, it was going to be insane but I had enough people holding my hand and whispering a prayer on my behalf.

On the 2nd of January I “officially” checked into my hotel room. I was going to be here for a week so I familiarized myself with my suite. I knew where the towels were kept, where to keep my stuff and where the extra blankets were. It was winter and one blanket was not going to do it for me. I needed at least three and a hot water bottle(I do not travel without one). My roommate also checked in and after the pleasantries(how did they find out, wow you are so young, what time is your surgery etc etc) I left for home.

Things were getting real. I was about to have surgery. Someone was going to dissect me and see my insides. He was going to play doctor with my insides and cut out a sizeable chunk of my intestine. I couldn’t help but wonder “Does it look like the matumbo (tripe) we eat”??(I know………… gross but seriously does it look like matumbo???)

On sunday I was back at the hospital. But before my little brother dropped me I spent a few hours with lil man. Those that know me know  that this buddle of joy is the love of my life. He is the product of my brother and the cutest little person ever!!!!!! He has me hashtagging(is this even a word?) like crazy #proudauntymoments. #feedinglilman #lovehim #Lilbae.
If you see him you will understand.

I got the pre surgery pep talk plus the do’s and don’ts.  I think they were just being nice to cover up the fact that they were mean, horrible people (Ok I  might be exaggerating a little bit) who were going to insert things up my…….. well you know what……. that place where the sun don’t shine.  Yes I got an enema… ooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhh the horror!!!!!!!!! Why would these people do that to sweet young me??? It was  not fair…(This is me having a fit.. I know  a’m bad at it. Truth be told I ended up crawling into a fetal position and started questioning my existence)

I don’t think I slept a wink that night. Not because I was going to have surgery come morning but because at 6am I was going to have another enema. What did these people think I had been eating????? Seriously one was enough there was no need for them to torture me.. Sadists… You can’t inflict pain on people and go about your business like nothing has happened (again me ranting) The fact is I  took it like a…………….*There is no way I can  finish this sentence properly,,, absolutely no way*

At around 8 am I was  wheeled into a pre-op  room.. My vitals were monitored for half an hour and then it was prep time.. Ooohh boy!!!!

So many things went through my mind.

“Good morning.” Said  my surgeon. “We have met before”. I nodded in agreement.

“Hallo I will be in charge of knocking you out today” Said another doctor. “Great this one has a sense of humor.”  I thought to myself.   “Just laugh… Otherwise he will make sure you wake up before the surgery is over and get a first row seat as  your insides are put in a bowl or something.”  I feigned a laugh and he was happy.

1. Who in God’s green earth came up with that? 2. What were they thinking? 3. Why for crying out loud does it have to be injected in the spinal cord?
It really hurts yet It is supposed to help or rather numb pain. I felt like throwing up, like I was going to faint, like  my life had just flashed before my eyes. It was sooooooooooo painful… (I told you Sadists right!!)

“Bye bye world…….See you in a few hours”.  I saw the light get dimmer and dimmer until it went out. My life was in God’s hands. I was at his mercy and not the surgeons. He was not holding the scalpel but he was directing it all.

Young or not, I had colon cancer.  Young or not the journey to recovery had officially just started and I had some “comfy” shoes on. I was going to wake up lighter and healthier(was  also hoping for skinnier but oohhh well).  Jehovah was going to make sure of that. I had faith that he was standing right there next to the surgeon watching out for me.

I was not too young for his love and mercies.

I was not too young to survive cancer

Mom.. we share everything!

After I received my diagnosis I felt like my life would end. And then i remembered my mother. She had gone through this journey and came out strong. I am my mothers daughter. How could i forget that!!!!!!!! shame on me. But then again that was her journey and this here………… this was mine

Wait….. hold on… My mom!!
I have to call her…how could that have slipped my mind???
I took my phone and dialed her number, then hung up.

“How i’m I going to break the news to her????. What will I say to her”???.

I decided to wait. It was morning. I wanted her to go about her day. She deserved to have a good day.  She deserved to laugh, make jokes and make people laugh. She is a hoooooooot. She has the ability to bring you to tears,,,, of laughter that is.

Around 7pm i called her.

“Mom, sasa, how are you and how was your day”?. I let her talk for a few minutes. She cracked a few jokes and I produced a sound that was supposed to be  laughter, but it kinda wasn’t… (you know the sound I’m talking about right???).

I could not prolong it anymore.. I had to tell her.

“Mom, do you remember when we went for lunch at a certain restaurant and I ordered then when it was your turn you told me to order  the same food as mine???.
Do you remember how we do things together?? When you are sad I can tell and when you are happy I’m also happy?? Well mom we love each other so much that we share everthing, you got cancer aaaaaaaand well that will be another thing for us to share.. I was at the hospital today and mom… I HAVE CANCER”.

*Sigh* There I said it.

*A loooooooong pause ensued…I am very sure i heard a pin fall.. I really did*!!

Then she started crying. That broke my heart… I hung up because i could not bear to hear my mama cry. I just pictured her sitting on the sofa crying her lungs out. I pictured her sitting there asking God to transfer my cancer to her. That she could handle it.

The next day when she called she told me she had prayed to Jehovah and pleaded  with him to transfer the sickness to her(that’s how well I know my mama). I just told her…. “I know mom,,,, I know. But mom you know we share everything, that’s how deep our love is, so when you get sick, I get sick. Mom, you fought it, you kicked cancers ass, and i will too.. I’m I not your dotahhh?????( insert Nigerian accent)

In between the tears we managed to laugh. We laughed about all the things we have done together, silly or otherwise, about all the memories we have shared. And then she told me, “You will be fine my daughter. After all I’m I not your mothahh??( insert Nigerian accent) You got this,,, You got this. “Sallie  utapona.  Besides 1 Corinthians  10:13 say that God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but along with the temptation he will also make the way out so that you may be able to endure it”…

Unfortunately on the 19th of that month my mom was operated on again. She spend a week in the hospital. She was doing well and kept reminding me to pray. Jehovah was going to fight for us. He always does.

I was in a daze for the better part of that month.  I had so many hospital appointments. They needed to make sure the cancer had not spread to the lungs and liver. I met the Surgeon that was going to dissect me. Heck I even googled him(actually I kinda stalked him). I also got acquainted with the anesthesiologist  and some of the nurses that would be involved in my post surgery treatment. Through  all this my ooooohhh not so little brother never left my side.  #mybrotherisbetterthanyours

That December was also spent breaking the news to my family and friends. But despite a gloomy cloud lingering over my head, we made some pretty awesome memories. We managed to laugh our lungs out(don’t panic my lungs were in perfect condition).
We danced and  acted  like  teenagers whose  parents had gone away for the weekend. (You know, a Project X scenario but with 10 people instead of hundreds, and no police involved, or breaking things, but still very wild…… in our heads that is).

And ofcourse I had to cook. If I remember well I made a roasted leg of lamb with roasted vegetables(I told you that I loooooove cooking). It was a blessing having everyone around and I was happy to have hosted them.

Ooooohhhhh I almost forgot. My family and friends decided to surprise me by booking a spa day for me. My amazing sister in law and I had a wonderful day. Bamboo massages, sauna’s, Turkish steam bath. I enjoyed myself well well oohhhh. (but the things I saw there!!!!……that pppfff….. is a story for another day)

Cancer did not have me… I had it

I had this….. I soooooooooo had this. Cancer needed to get ready.. I was going to kick it to pluto. After all my mama had and I,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I am my mother’s daughter.

We share everything

I feel Lighter

Now I need you to bear with me for a second.

There is one thing I have never understood and hopefully you guys can put me out of my misery. Snow White ate a poisoned apple and fell into a coma right!!!!!. Then prince charming from another land came and kissed her and voila she was awake. My question is,,,, What was that prince doing in that particular forest(or part of it).?

To me he sounds like a “perv”… I mean what are the odds that:
1.The first time he strolled through some random forest he finds a prinsess in a glass cofin?
2. He happens to be “THE” prince that wakes her up?

I am sure everyday he went riding through forest after forest looking for a princess. I know he tried sleeping beauty but could not get through the thorns. Rapunzel was not feeling him so she did not throw down her hair and the other princess,,,,,,,,,,,,,, well we all know she chose a frog!!! He was a desperate prince and Snow White just happend to be laying there so he took a chance. And what do you know…… He woke her up!!.

I know you are wondering: Why ooh why is she talking about this? Truth be told It’s because I was thinking about it just around the time I woke up from surgery. I thought that was going to be an AHA! moment. That I had finally figured it out but I hadn’t(so please help me out)

It’s such a weird feeling when half of your body is numb. This is  where I take a moment to thank the person who invented the Ephidural(I know,,, I know,,, I was hating on them before but a girl is allowed to change her mind,  isn’t she?) That’s how they administered the morphine so a shout out to that person.
Oooooooooohhhhh the person who came up with morphine! He/she  deserves the Nobel prize. I will not Judge them. I won’t(I mean common what where you cooking up for you to end up with a drug that makes the body feel no pain at all?????)

By the time I was waking up from my Snow White dilemma my little brother was there. The hospital had called him once I had been wheeled back to my room.. I was a bit off sorts but hey I had just gone through surgery and the morphine was on point!!

There is something very humbling about staying in the hospital after certain procedures. You can’t shower so the nurses(male or female) have to clean you up and pweeeeze don’t get me started about toilet visits.!!!!! The first 2 days after surgery I could not walk to the rest room because of the morphine that was being administered through my back and also because I just couldn’t walk.

My surgery was on a Monday and on Thursday afternoon they took me off the morphine. The pain hit me like a storm. I remember hanging out of my bed because I had no idea what to do with myself.

I was now able to move a little so I decided to take a well deserved shower. After the shower I got back to bed. This  young little nurse (not running a mock on nurses but she was really young and little) that had come to give me my pain medicines asked me on a scale of 1 to 10 how high the pain was. I told her a whooping 9. She then said “oohh that high? Usually when pain is that high you can’t even move let alone go take a shower”.

Eschuuuuuuse me Miss I  know pain!!!

Ooohhh I wanted to hurt her. I wanted her to experience pain. But I would end up in prison and I can’t go for long without having my nails done. So for the sake of my nails I told her that she should just hand me my pain meds because only I knew the level of pain my body was experiencing. Besides she was young, she deserved to live a little.

I was supposed to be discharged on a Friday but my body was in distress and certain body parts were not functioning properly. I was cramping and the pain was insane. I could not,,,,,,welll eeuuhhmmm,,,,, pass……….. (seriously fill in the blanks. Colon cancer,,, soooo…….)

Monday morning my pending issues(see what I just did there?) had not been solved but that was not reason enough to keep me admitted. I was discharged and told to call if the situation did not improve.

Bye bye hospital bed and best of all, bye bye hospital food. Hospital dinners had turned me into a food critic. I am an amateur when it comes to cooking. Despite that I know and appreciate good food. Hospital cusine is not good food but I’m not complaining even though I had my people bring me homemade food.

I was in alot of pain and could not stand upright. The staples were not helping matters. But I was home. Jehovah had seen me through what will turn out to be the first part of my journey.  A few days later the staples were out and I felt lighter.

The tumour was out of my body plus a sizeable chunk of my big intestine. I must say that I felt lighter(was still hoping for thinner).

Physically I was in pain but emotionally and mentally:

I felt lighter

I hope you dance

Let me introduce you to Sals Comfort.

I am a the glass is half full kinda person. I love life and live it the best way i know how. I have an amazing family and an equaly amazing circle of friends. And I love, looove to cook.

In 2010 I met this wonderful person. We clicked immediately and became the best of friends. She was going through a rough time so one night I played her my favorite song. It’s called I HOPE YOU DANCE by Leeann Womack. As soon as we listened to the first verse we broke down.

“I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
GOD forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
I hope you dance”

When life is smooth and things are working out It’s easy to dance. But when life has thrown you a curve ball or two, try dancing then.

Life is not easy. No one has it easy that much I know. But the past few years,,,, life has thrown me curve ball after curve ball and let me tell you, as much as I love to dance,, it has been almost impossible to do so.

It all started in the 16th of October 2013. We got a call that my mother had been rushed to the hospital. She was in Kenya at the time while my brother and I were in Holland. From then on life seemed to be on auto pilot. She had the big C..Yes Cancer… But wait that can’t be right. Cancer affects other families, she must be suffering from something else right!. But no.. It was cancer.
She was operated on a few days later and in the months to come she had chemo and radiation therapy. We were far away so all we could do was  pray and hope that she would be fine. She fought like the soldier she is and she won even though she would later on have surgery again and be called upon to fight harder than before. She is a soldier, she kicked cancer all the way to Pluto.

Fast forward. 12th November 2014. I woke up with the worst stomach pains ever. But me being me I went about my business. A few days later(14th November) the pain had gotten worse. I called my doctor, got an appointment and cycled to his office (yes I cycled, this is Holland, we cycle everywhere). My doctor took his time to examine me then said  “I’m afraid you have to go to the hospital”. He called for an ambulance and off I went.

I was admitted, tests were done, from echo’s, urine tests, blood tests to a CT scan. The latter revieled that I had diverticulitis(an infection in my large intestine). I was admitted and spent a week in the hospital. Before I was discharged they performed a colonoscopy(oooooohhhh the horror) and off i went.

2nd Decomber 2014. My brother accompanied me to the hospital to get the results of the super fun colonoscopy I had received before being discharged. I was not worried. We walked in, sat down and the doctor switched on the computer.

“About a week ago you got a colonoscopy. During the procedure i saw something that was disturbing so i took a sample, cultured it and unfortunately it confirmined my suspisions. YOU HAVE COLON CANCER”

My world shattered. I could hear it shuttering. I really could……… I was numb. 

“I am 30……..(seriously you thought I was going to reviel my age?!!) and here i am with cancer!!!!!!!!


I went through the rest of the day like a zombie. My brother held my hand every single step of the way. I don’t know what i would have done without him.

“I have cancer,, I have cancer”

That day I did not dance.

What is this blog about??? It’s about my journey. About thinking that I can’t and won’t be able to dance. It’s about realizing that despite it all I CAN DANCE.

Welcome to my journey. I HOPE YOU DANCE