Nkesiga lost her husband to cancer - Daily Monitor

Nkesiga lost her husband to cancer

Monday October 31 2016

Rev Canon Nkesiga. Photo by Alex Esagala

Rev Canon Nkesiga. Photo by Alex Esagala 

By Beatrice Nakibuuka

She looks every inch a jolly and calm woman whose every word is a careful construction that will invite you a comfortable casual chat.
It has been a year since she lost her husband to cancer but she still carries the wounds, albeit with a strong heart.
In January 2015, the Nkesigas had celebrated their silver jubilee only for the husband to die two months later.

Rev Canon Diana Mirembe Nkesiga is the All Saints Cathedral Nakasero vicar, In March 2015, lost her husband, Solomon Nkesiga, a year after he had been diagnosed with cancer of the gall bladder.
At the time of his death, he was the deputy vice chancellor of Bishop Stuart University Mbarara and a steward in the Anglican Church.

His book, Reflections of A Dying Man to Dying Me, is a true memoir of a man who even in his dying days gathered the energy to pen lifelong recollections that would tell his story years later.
The Nkesigas had been together for 25 years and by the time of his death they had two sons and two daughters.

“We were in Poland. When my husband developed digestion problems. We thought it was because he had changed his diet,” she says, narrating how, after they had returned, he requested her to accompany him to an AAR clinic for examination.

“I was a bit busy but I found time and went with him.”
Her husband, she says, had done a liver function test and the results returned high, which pointed to a liver problem.
According to Nkesiga, the doctor recommended an ultra sound scan which later showed a blockage in the bile duct.

An MRI scan confirmed the presence of a tumour in his liver but doctors were reluctant to operate him because of the complexity of the cancer.
His eyes had become yellow and he was finding it more difficult to digest food.

On June 2, 2014 the Nkesigas flew to India, where specialised test were conducted and returned similar results that confirmed cancer of the bladder.

However, the doctors said operating the tumour was dangerous, opting to unblock the bile duct and restore bile flow. But amid all this, Nkesiga says, her husband remained strong and almost doing everything by himself.

The medical procedures conducted on him had restored some relief, clearing the eyes that had become yellowish, and the urine and restoring his appetite.

He was started on chemotherapy after a few days but on June 29, the couple returned to Kampala where he had been advised to complete the dose and return to India for reviews.
“We were advised to complete the chemotherapy in Kampala,” Nkesiga says.

“In Kampala everything seemed going according to plan and on November 4, we did a thanksgiving ceremony where we renewed our vows.”

We continued with the treatment until it was completed in January. However, within the same month he started becoming weak.
“We thought it was an after effect of the radiotherapy but his health continued to deteriorate. We took him to Kampala Hospital. But the condition worsened,” Nkesiga narrates.
After two months he had become more weaker and eventually died on March 23.

It was a trying moment, Nkesiga remembers, but her spirit was lifted by the support offered by family and church members.
In his memory, AAR established the Nkesiga Cancer Foundation that seeks to increase awareness, fundraise, support, hope and inspire people affected by cancer. Nkesiga has since become an active driver of the foundation.

With the slogan ‘Stronger together against cancer’ the Nkesiga Cancer Foundation was launched on October 22 with a family walk on October 15 from Kololo Airstrip and free cancer screening from October 15 to 22 at the All Saints Cathedral Kampala.