Vaidam sat down with 58-year-old Mimmie, who recounts her brave journey to India for a radical mastectomy. During the interview, Mimmie details her experience with strong reasons to why she would recommend treatment in India to family and friends.
Please tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Mimmie, I am 58 years old and I come from Namibia and live in the capital city Windhoek. I have three children. Two live in Windhoek and one in Seoul, South Korea.
Tell us a little about your journey with Breast Cancer?
My journey with breast cancer started in February 2011. I was devastated, as I just turned 50 the previous July. I remember the amount of anger I had but I was also scared. I opted for natural treatment. During this 7 years, I had about 11 freak accidents on the sick breast that resulted in cancer now growing at speed and knew that I had to get the breast removed if I want to survive.
What did you do subsequently?
Originally chose to opt out of surgery. I went for natural treatment and was well till I had 11 aggravations through severe trauma on the breast, e.g. a person accidentally hit me on the breast with a coach. After every accident, I could feel cancer growing, but I was too scared to go to the doctors because of my original experience and the fact that I did a natural treatment that would not go well with them.
Eventually, I realized that I do not have any option but to remove the mass and I consulted two oncologists and one oncologist surgeon with the help of my GP. All three doctors advised chemotherapy to shrink the mass with an operation that would be done after. My choice was to have the mass removed first after which chemotherapy could be done. Since what I want was not supported by those doctors, as the protocols to deal with stage 4 breast cancer is different in my city, I discussed it with a friend who advised me to go to India for treatment which I did.
How did you find Vaidam?
I searched the internet for doctors and hospitals, and I came across many websites for agents. Somehow I was intrigued by one website and that was Vaidam for the reason that they did not require a consultation fee, but was more interested in my problem and how to assist me to solve it. While reading the homepage of Vaidam.com, I came across a story about a lady from Fiji. One thing that struck me was that I could get exactly the kind of treatment I needed, which was personalized to my needs. I had the option to choose the hospital, attending physician and even specialist surgeon—all in addition to conventional treatments I needed to fight cancer and all in one location.
How did you approach Vaidam?
So I sent an email to Vaidam for information. A representative from Vaidam called me who told me about Vaidam partnered hospitals and their overall approach to treating breast cancer. The representative offered to check to see if my medical insurance provider would allow me treatment at best breast cancer hospitals in India but since I knew I do not have the time to do that, I opted to get a loan and get treated as soon as possible and deal with the insurance later.
How did it feel arriving in New Delhi?
My only daughter traveled with me to New Delhi for my operation. We arrived at Indira Gandhi Airport on the 26th May, 2018 and were greeted upon our arrival at the airport. A gentleman from the Vaidam patient relations team picked up our luggage, carried it to the ambulance and then accompanied us to the hospital with a medical attendant from Vaidam. For my first visit and every trip thereafter to the hospital, I called upon Vaidam for help with transportation service until I was hospitalized.
What did you like in particular about Vaidam?
I appreciated that Vaidam gathered my mammograms, X-rays and other tests I had earlier sent before leaving. My tests were then sent to the best breast cancer doctor in India to review before I arrived. Everything just seemed so easy and taken care of.
My daughter and I were also wowed by how Batra Hospital took such good care of us. The day upon our arrival at the hospital, I immediately began to meet with my different doctors and care providers for evaluation. I also had all the necessary tests done that first day, which was a Saturday. In my country, I would have to wait until the Monday for tests to be done as our working weeks ends on a Friday and my case would not be seen as an emergency to have it attend to over a weekend.
How are you feeling today post surgery?
After dealing with Breast Cancer for over 7 years, you never know what life can throw at you. However, after these long 7 years, for the first time, I am beginning to feel at ease. Above all, I'm just grateful that I'm still here and that I have a future with my family around me. I have this immense feeling of gratitude towards the personnel at Vaidam who facilitated my decision to go to India for my operation on my terms. Without them, I would not know what to do and where to go or which doctor to consult. I got the best of treatment and specialists. You saved my life and I am eternally grateful. God Bless!