By Bunmi Sofola
ISN’T it amazing what torrent of scandal a little event like being pregnant can unleash? For the four years Lisa was married to Nekan, her husband, she tried all she could to get pregnant. At first she thought it was due to her reproductive organs malfunctioning. After series of tests, it was Nekan’s turn to have his fertility investigated. It was an awful blow to the couple when he got the news he had a low sperm count.
“Lisa was devastated,” Funke, her elder sister and a mother of three children had said after she got the news. “I wish I could do something to help my sister…”, “Something like what?” I joked. “Get another man to perform the magic her husband couldn’t?” A few months later, Funke had come to mine, a bit angry and confused. “Lisa came for dinner last night with Nekan,” she said. “I was in the kitchen sorting out the dirty plates when Nekan crept up behind me. Pressing hard against my back, he whispered. ‘Don’t you realise how much I want you?’ Horrified, I pushed him away and rushed back to the others. I’d thought that would be the end of it, but it wasn’t. Some few weeks later, I bumped into him at a supermarket near the house and he suggested we went to the nearest fast-food spot to have a bite. He said he was desperate to talk to me.
“At first I hesitated, but he was my brother-in-law afterall. He and Lisa had been married for a while and they seemed happy in spite of their ‘problem’. Over lunch, he explained he’d been quite depressed after he’d been told of his low sperm count. That’s why I had behaved badly at your house,’ he said. ‘I guess I was trying to prove I was a man.’ I felt really sorry for him and tried to console him. A few months after this incident. Nekan phoned me and it was obvious he was in a dreadful state. Kunle, my husband, was on night shift at work, so when Nekan begged me to come over to his place, I agreed. He was in a sorry state when I got to his place. He said he suspected his wife was having an affair, and after a mighty row, he’d hit her and she’d left to go to her mum’s.
“As I made the right soothing sound, he poured out his heart, told me how strained his marriage had become. I felt myself sympathising with him, even though I felt disloyal to my sister. Two bottles of wine later, I was the one revealing worries about my marriage. Kunle had been a bit preoccupied of late and I told Nekan he too might be having an affair. He shook his head in disbelief as I told him Kunle seldom paid me attention. ‘I don’t understand how anyone could neglect a beautiful, kind, loving woman like you’, he sympathised. Before I knew it, we were all over each other… months of frustration were released as our bodies got entwined. The sex was the most fulfilling I’d had for months.
“I didn’t feel any guilt, especially when Kunle wasn’t home when I arrived. He’d given some of his suspicious excuses on the answering machine. So, it was with little or no guilt that I continued my affair with my brother-in-law. Each time Lisa
phoned for a chat, or to visit the house, I fobbed her off in case my secret was revealed if I saw her face-to-face. Then came the news that Lisa was finally pregnant. I was really happy for her as I hugged and congratulated her. She didn’t seem all that happy to see me but I put it down to her current state. Or did she suspect I was sleeping with her husband? She couldn’t have, we’d been really careful.
“Lisa was almost due when I ran into a close relative who worked as a matron in a private hospital. I hadn’t seen her for ages and she was full of praise for my husband who introduced Lisa to their hospital. ‘He even brought her a few times,’ she blabbed,’ and helped with some of her bills. I tried to introduce myself to him but he was always busy with the hospital’s director who was his friend. I’m glad Lisa’s finally pregnant …’ On and on she went. The way she kept peering at me, I knew she was dying for me to give something away. Condemn my husband’s behaviour perhaps? Or let on I knew nothing about Kunle’s involvement with Lisa’s pregnancy? Why on earth would he put himself out so much for her?
“When I got home, Kunle was out as usual. Gave me enough time to look through all his things. Eventually, I found one or two bills from the hospital. That was when it dawned on me that my husband couldn’t have been that involved in Lisa’s pregnancy if he wasn’t part of it himself. I was furious but had my wits around me. This wasn’t the time for being confrontational. My sister wanted a baby so badly she didn’t mind getting one from my husband! And where did Nekan feature in all this? The poor man was virtually floating on air when Lisa got pregnant. He was relieved that his sperm count wasn’t too low to father a child afterall. So what blow would I be dealing him by telling him the truth? And what about my marriage that was now on shaky grounds, would my ‘True confession’ save it?
From then on, I knew I had no marriage – all I’m determined to do now is look after my children and see them to adulthood. I hate my sister to the point I could kill her. But then, I’d slept with her husband too. If I were in her shoes, would I do the same? – Her daughter even looked like one of mine when Lisa had her baby. Thank goodness it wasn’t a boy that would look like my husband. Heavens only know how many controversial births exist all over the world…”
New Prostate Treatment Gives Sufferers Two More Years
MEN with incurable prostate cancer live two years longer if given chemotherapy at the same time as the standard hormone treatment, according to a major trial. Presently, chemotherapy is only offered to men if the hormone treatment isn’t slowing the cancer’s spread and many choose not to have it at all due to the side-effects. But researchers say their findings are so strong that a form of chemotherapy called docetaxel should be routinely given to men as soon as they are diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer.
There are 41,000 new cases of prostate cancer in the UK each year and the disease is responsible for a fifth of all types of cancer in men. This includes 10 to 15 per cent which are classified as aggressive tumours and are very difficult to treat as they spread so quickly. The study by researchers at Cardiff and Warwick University is ongoing and involves 6,500 British men with advanced prostate cancer. On average, these men live for between four and five years after being diagnosed with advanced ‘metastatic’ prostate cancer, which means it has spread to the bones or other organs. But early findings from the trial presented a few months ago showed that men lived for an extra 22 months on average if given chemotherapy at the same time as the standard hormone therapy. Professor Malcolm Mason of Cardiff University said: ‘The 22 months is a lot of extra time for these men with an incurable disease.
In prostate cancer, chemotherapy has been used at a much more advanced stage of the illness for some years – now we know that this chemotherapy should be added earlier, in fact as soon as hormone therapy starts.’ The early results also show that men with aggressive tumours which haven’t yet spread also survive longer if given chemotherapy. Many are still alive and the researchers believe this treatment could enable them to live at least an extra five to six years, if not longer. Docetaxel is cheap compared to most cancer treatments.
Dr. Iain Frame, director of research at Prostate Cancer UK, said: ‘The findings of this trial are potentially game-changing – we can’t wait to see the full result. Chemotherapy is currently one of the last resort treatments for advanced prostate cancer. If it is shown to have a much greater impact on survival when prescribed earlier and alongside hormone therapy, that’s incredibly exciting.’ Professor Peter Johnson, Cancer Research UK’s chief clinician, said: ‘Chemotherapy isn’t suitable for everyone, but all men (with prostate cancer) who are well enough should be offered this treatment combination.’
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