Joyce is a 54-year-old wife and mother of three. She is a subsistence farmer who grows crops and raises farm animals mainly for food for their family. She lives in a corrugated iron house with her husband and her youngest son. Her oldest son is currently employed and married, but her middle son lost his job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She proudly shared that her youngest son just sat for the Malawi School Certificate Examination and he is awaiting the results. Joyce’s oldest son helps to pay the school fees for his younger brother because he is the only one currently working in their family.
Last year Joyce noticed a lump on her breast. Her sister advised her to go to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) where she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Surgery was recommended, but the waiting list for an operation has been too long. A KCH doctor advised her to come to Partners In Hope because her condition needs urgent attention. The Partners in Hope surgeon recommended Joyce get a mastectomy. A mastectomy is a surgery to remove all breast tissue from a breast as a way to treat or prevent breast cancer. Due to her financial status, she was referred to our medical partner African Mission Healthcare and has also contributed $19.40 herself to support her treatment.
Joyce is fearful of what may come next because she has been reading and has learned of the impact of breast cancer on an individual. Hopefully, having the surgery will erase all these fears and allow Joyce to live her normal life again.
Joyce says, “It will be great for me to live a life without a lump on my breast. This thing kills my self-esteem and my hopes to live.”