“Dying Many Times: The Struggles of a Cancer Patient” was born during the one-week commemoration of the passing of my late wife, Patience Akyena Brantuo.

At the time, it was not clear what memorial was fitting for her. As a journalist, what I had was my writing. After sustained prayers and working 24hours for a year on this project, we have this book, which has passed the most rigorous professional scrutiny.

This book is a summary of the darkest and gory moments of my life, one that must never be remembered unless for cursing and repudiating yet for the greater good of society it has been offered to the world to ensure that no decent person goes through what we suffered.

To illustrate this, the book was written at a time I had lost my wife, job and was struggling to take care of myself.

It also came at a time Ghana was in lockdown because of Covid-19 and I had to plan for the burial and final funeral rites of my wife. While doing all these, I was looking for a new place to stay because where I was staying was no longer available to me. Imagine doing all these in addition to raising a two-year-old boy all by yourself; bathing, feeding, washing his clothes and playing with him were enough troubles. I went for months without sleep because the nights were the only period I could write when my son was asleep.

These were enough troubles without having to revisit the story of what afflicted my wife again and again to crosscheck the facts on the lab reports, the prescription forms, the payment receipts, the pictures, speaking to doctors, nurses, trying to recall events, statements, etc. This was real torture and torment to me. I kept breaking down again and again after revisiting some of the accounts. In fact, during that period, I told somebody to take care of my son for me should anything happen to me. This was so because I knew I was going through so much pain which was very difficult for my body to take.

I did not subject myself to this because it feels exciting to publish the darkest moment of my family in a book. The Lord who kept me up night by night during that season wanted me to make a sacrifice to the world by sharing my experiences with the hope of using it to awaken the conscience of society to a forgotten section of our population that is suffering and dying in silence without getting help.

Dying Many Times: The Struggles of a Cancer Patient seeks to complement the authoritative materials already provided by scientists and health professionals on cancer by adding an account from the perspective of a victim.

Exactly how do cancer patients feel about their condition? How does the condition affect and disrupt their lives and those of their families? Who sponsors their healthcare? How do they respond to the treatment and are there complications?

I seek to use my experience to bring to the fore the painful stories of hundreds of people who have been widowed, orphaned, impoverished or have had their dreams dashed by cancer as a result of a management regime that is exorbitant and has a high mortality rate.

Dying Many Times: The Struggles of a Cancer Patient arms policymakers with the motivation to act with urgency. It also makes appropriate recommendations for reforms aimed at making the management of the disease affordable, efficient, friendly and available to as many patients who require it.

Beyond serving as feedback for health professionals to improve on their services and informing the ordinary man on the disease, this book seeks to serve as a rallying point for social workers to sustain a campaign for institutional reforms.

‘Dying Many Times: The Struggles of a Cancer Patient’ seeks to remind you of how you can be the next victim of cancer and why you must contribute to building a health infrastructure that can support you when that, unfortunately, becomes your fate.

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You can pay via MoMo on 0244825187 registered to the name of the author or you can contact him via WhatsApp on the same number. A copy is ¢40 and it will be delivered to you at a fee of ¢10.

Mr Akyena Brantuo consults on Corporate Communication, Broadcasting and Politics. Until his wife’s demise, he worked as a Senior Journalist with The Multimedia Group.