It is with heavy hearts that we reflect on the remarkable life of Debbie Osarere Idiagbonya, who has passed away. Her story, though marked by the trials of battling breast cancer, also serves as a testament to resilience and unwavering determination. Initially thrust into the public eye during her cancer diagnosis, Debbie’s journey was one of courage and fortitude.
Despite overcoming breast cancer in 2013, the disease’s relentless spread to her liver and bones posed new challenges. Yet, amidst personal loss and health struggles, Debbie’s optimism and fighting spirit remained undiminished.
This interview, conducted in December 2015 in Esther Ijewere’s column in the Sun Newspaper, was her last major interview before she died in April 2016, capturing a glimpse of Debbie’s indomitable spirit and unwavering resolve in the face of adversity.
Reaction to liver and bone cancer diagnosis
At first, I thought I was free from one deadly attack and now the cancer has spread. Well, like the doctors would say, I had metastatic breast stage IV cancer.I told myself my battle with cancer had just begun. I just focused on being positive believing God is going to make everything work out for my good. Always smile and dance when you hear bad news. My medical team (doctors) were trying to console me by saying: “First, we have good news and bad news, which one do you want to hear first”?All I said was I’m used to good news, but I will listen to the bad news first. My oncologist said, “I’m happy your chemotherapy is working for your liver but sorry the cancer came back to your bones”. I have been fighting since December 12, 2011. God will never leave me. I have survived breast cancer stage IV, I’m surviving liver cancer so how many bones? I’ve survived it before and I will survive it again. I will never lose my fighting spirit.
Tempted to give up on life
Through all these health challenges I have never been tempted to give up on life. I just keep staying focused and optimistic believing in the healing power of God. God has been my sustainer.
What keeps her going?
God keeps me going and the stories of survivors I have met.I have had the opportunity of listening to the challenging stories of survivors and positive-minded people around me. This has been my glimmer of hope
The health challenges have enhanced my faith in God. I used to think I wasn’t ready for something super challenging. I never thought I would be diagnosed with life threatening diseases especially when it’s not in my family. I find myself becoming stronger in my hope of defeating cancer.
Advise for Individuals Battling Health Challenges
I will advise individuals battling health challenges to keep their hopes alive. You may have been challenged, hurt, or delayed but remember you’re still alive. You have cancer, it doesn’t need to affect your spirit. You should live like a victor of cancer and not like a victim. Always remember that those who sow in tears shall reap with songs of joy.
The ‘New’ Debby
My outlook on life has changed and has my spiritual life, through it all, these challenges have strengthened my resolve to live life and live it to the fully
Being a woman of rubies
My definition of a woman of rubies is a damsel who doesn’t fit into stereotypes. I am pleased being myself. I have great self-esteem and confidence which makes me willing to seek out and accept challenges. I want to inspire people with my story. This is what being a woman of rubies should be about. It should be about you overcoming adversity and using your story to inspire others.