Thursday, 8 October 2015


Former NTV news anchor Janet Kanini Ikua has called for prayers as she undergoes chemotherapy for stage four lung cancer in New Delhi.
The 37-year-old said she had initially travelled to India to seek treatment for deep vein thrombosis, but "my case of DVT has turned out to be a symptom of something else, something more."
"... Hence its stubborn refusal to respond to blood thinner pills and my reliance on Clexane injections that should ideally be used for 10 days; I have used them for more than 3 months."
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Janet said the diagnosis of the cancer, that has spread from her primary lung site to the lymph nodes, was immediate.
She said she arrived in India with her husband on September 10 to see a top surgical oncologist.
She noted that the doctor invented a procedure that was named after him but is humble and charged about Sh1,600 for consultation, a figure which reduces with subsequent visits.
In Kenya, the average cost of consultation is between Sh4,000 and Sh5,000, which reduces to about Sh3,500 with subsequent visits.
“Next morning I was promptly admitted and prepared for this machine that brings many Kenyans to India - the PET MRI scanner," she recounted.
"It uses radiation to get an amazingly accurate picture of the internal workings of the body, so that you scan the entire body at a go."
Kanini drew a contrast with Kenya saying she would have undergone several CT scans, MRIs and ultrasounds, which would have taken a lot of time and money, amid uncertainty.
Janet remained upbeat in her explanation of the procedure, that included being injected with a substance that made her radioactive, and drinking a lot of water afterwards.
She said the technology is not available in Kenya because of the lack of nuclear laws; travel agent Vishal Kumar said an average of 30 Kenyans travel to India for treatment.
He attributed the high number of travelling patients - medical tourism - to the availability of equipment and the relatively low cost of treatment in India.
The N-Soko property show host said her decision to open up about her illness was to educate people on how seemingly mild conditions can be pointers to severe illnesses.
“It has taken me weeks to decide to publicly admit that this is the diagnosis," she said.
"However I realise discussing this condition over the past three and a half months has helped people... with similar symptoms... other ailments and those affected by caring for the sick."
“I know sickness is not my portion," she added, saying she will share her experience if it can help educate and comfort others.
Noting that her initial symptoms included a swollen leg and a painful foot, she said she does not want anyone suffering from cancer to be anxious that their journey will be similar to hers.
She said she was also hospitalised to stop a clot from growing and restore normal blood flow through the leg, amid efforts to keep the clot from travelling to the heart and lungs.
"Usually within 6 to 12 months DVT disappears though it can recur later. Otherwise you can get back to work and life as usual even during treatment," she said.
Janet will be in New Delhi until doctors confirm the best drugs foer her to return to Kenya with to continue her chemotherapy.
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