Aisha* was a 40-year-old woman recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She was divorced and lived with her son and daughter. Her illness progressed rapidly and she developed a fungating breast wound. She refused all treatments for her cancer and preferred to use holy water. Aisha used to work as a prostitute but could no longer earn money this way. Her children worked as daily labourers but they did not earn enough to cover their daily living costs and their mother’s medical care costs.
Aisha was distressed by her breast pain, fatigue, constipation, bed sore and her breast wound when the hospice team met her. She was also sad, anxious and ashamed of the odour from her breast wound
The Hospice Ethiopia team provided her with advice and medication for her pain and other symptoms. They cared for her wounds and provided wound care supplies such as gauze, cleaning solution and gloves along with a small monthly sum of money from the Comfort Fund. The nurse taught Aisha and her children how to care for her wounds at home. Furthermore, the nurse provided emotional support and reassured her that Hospice Ethiopia would keep providing the care to the end of her life. This care and support helped Aisha to have comfortable days, maintain her dignity and feel much better. Her symptoms were managed, the smell from the wound was controlled. Aisha died with dignity and relief a few weeks later.
*Not her real name