A 31-year-old Ulverston, Corentyne mother who was diagnosed with stage three cancer in early July has been battling to stay alive for her loved ones and hopes that one day she will overcome the disease with her survivor spirit.
Arlene Marcia Tyndall told Stabroek News yesterday that the cancer diagnosis has changed her life and her body for the worse but has also made her a stronger person.
The woman who was filled with love and hope yesterday while walking in the same spot because of the immense pain she was feeling bravely said that she will continue to do all that she can to stay alive of the sake of her family.
She explained that in late June, early July she began to bleed uncontrollably and experience intense pain in her body but mostly in her abdomen. This led her relatives to rush her to the New Amsterdam Public Hospital where after conducting several tests doctors diagnosed cancer.
The woman said after it was revealed to her she began to cry as at that moment she realized life as she knew it would have to change.
“It shock me when the doctor said I have it in my womb”. However, she said she made her mind strong and her heart brave to stand up and fight so that with the support from relatives and continuous prayers she could one day overcome the deadly disease. “I still have my children to live for and God to live for”, the woman declared.
According to Tyndall, in the earlier stages after being diagnosed, pain tablets and injections were administered to her. However, she said that she is frustrated with the intense pain she is experiencing since the medication seems to not be working as it did in the past. “When I go hospital all the time whatever they get they give me, if they don’t have I try and buy, my sister helps me but right now I am on no medication because it na work anymore”.
Tyndall since being diagnosed has received blood three times. “I would dry out and then go hospital and they would give me back blood”.
The woman said, her days have changed drastically since July. She relayed that she barely eats and sleeps because of the pain.
As Tyndall stood under her bottom house and spoke with Stabroek News, it was evident that she was experiencing intense pain, as she could barely stand still. “I feel like it biting me, the pain is bad, but I am a fighter”, she declared.
She added that she is in contact with the doctors attached to the Georgetown Public Hospital, who she has to visit on January 9. According to her, doctors have told her that they will give her blood on her next visit, after which she is expected to start chemotherapy.
“Them say after the chemo, they might have to do a surgery, but they waiting to see how it will work, them say how the chemo would a take away the pain…I’m hoping for the pain to go, that is all I can do now, hope”, she said.
Tyndall was full of praise for her husband and relatives especially her sister. She said, her husband, who is a cane harvester at the Albion Estate is frustrated since it is the out of crop period and he is out of a job. However, the woman stressed that her husband “takes care of her”. She added “He looking me day and night, he by my side because of the situation”, something she says she is thankful for.
An emotional Tyndall explained that her sickness has been stressful for her children as well. She said when the children see her in pain, they lose their appetite and refuse to eat, noting that it also affects their concentration in school. “I have five of them, them stress a lot”, she said.
Tyndall also stated that Christmas this year has been a sad one for her family. However, she thanked Capitol News journalist, Tracey Khan for bringing her situation to public notice which resulted in an outpouring of support and donations.
“Them people bring things and said send them children on the road Christmas Eve and I send them and I was in my bed…It was sad but i’m glad they had lil fun”, Tyndall said.
She recalled that in past years she would accompany her children on Christmas Eve nights on the road and then Christmas Day she would normally cook up a feast for her family, but sadly this year she was unable to do so.
“I been more fat up, I lose me size, my clothes don’t fit me now, I does go with them and walk and so, now I can’t able do all of that”, she lamented.
Tyndall encouraged other cancer patients to never give up the fight but to stand strong and lean on their loved ones in times of need.
“I am a survivor, I will survive this”, she vowed.
The woman’s husband, Kurleigh Hooper, 37, noted that his wife’s sickness has taken a toll on their family. However, he stressed, that he will “always stand by her”.
The man however noted, that the family would be glad for certain basic amenities to be improved in their home, as presently they are without electricity, water and a proper road.
“I went GPL with my papers but they wanted a transport, I don’t have that I have a lease, everyone around here get light except us, them kids can’t even study in the night because we have to light lamps “, Hooper stated.
They also don’t get water in their yard. “I does got to walk out by my neighbour and full the pipe water and bring it for us to bathe, cook and drink, it lil rusty but that we does drink…We does buy water for Arlene drink though, but we can’t afford to buy for all of us, plus sometimes them neighbour does tell you you got to help pay their water bills”.
But the worst of it all is the condition of the road and dam leading to the man’s yard. The dam when it rains is filled with slush and nothing else.
“I does got to put Arlene on my back and take her to toilet and bathroom when she want go, and when she going doctor we does got to lift she out”, he informed.
He added that when he is not home to lift his children out of the dam they are then unable to attend school as their mother is most times not physically able to take them out.
The man is pleading with the relevant authorities to assist in any way they can. “If we get light and water and them throw something on the road that gone help we lil bit man, everything together frustrating me, but we trying”, he relayed.
Tyndall’s mother who lives nearby told this newspaper that the family will also continue to support her daughter.
Lucille Mendoza, 69, said it is hurtful to watch her daughter go through all of the pain because of the cancer. “She been deh good and then she sick, she don’t able with the pain, she only deh suffer”.
The woman also thanked persons who have donated items to her daughter.
Tyndall after the interview with Stabroek News left immediately to attend her church in Lancaster Village, Corentyne. The woman pocketed her pain and trekked the muddy dam to get to church to pray for strength to overcome her pain and sickness.