The Story of my Cancer Ordeal in USA — Sammie Peters

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Sammie Ayoka Peters with Gbenga Dan Asabe of Asabeafrika
Sammie Ayoka Peters, the delectable and pretty wife of Afro-Juju Music creator and MTN Ambassador, Sir Shina Akanbi Peters returned to Nigeria on Friday January 1st 2016 after her 18 months sojourn in the United States of America where she went to treat a cancer scourge that took on her eventful life unawares. The Pretty mother of four and pillar of the Afrojuju music star’s love life was diagnosed of cancer sometime in July of year 2014 and the issue only became a public knowledge in January 2015 after she left the country in search of solution abroad. She left Nigeria in August 2014. The road to getting her freedom from cancer didn’t come cheap as the mother of four went through several challenges before she was able to make history as one of the rare survivors of the deadly disease. Sammie who returned on the first day of January (New Year Day) celebrated her 56th birthday on Monday January 11, 2016 with selected friends, family and well-wishers. 

Last Tuesday afternoon after making several attempts to speak with her, your Africa’s number 1 Celebrity Encounter blog became world’s first news medium to get  the wife of the music star to talk on her cancer ordeal   and she gladly as she opened the door of her tastefully furnished home in Iju area of Lagos to us to share the beautiful story of her victory over cancer. Asabeafrika also became the first news medium she told the real nature of her cancer-breast cancer.
Sammie who is very sad over Government’s nonchalant attitude to the cancer scourge in Nigeria also hinted of her desire to start an NGO that will drum support for the eradication of cancer at the grass root level.  Enjoy the excerpts in the Part 1 of the World Exclusive only on Asabeafrika.
Sammie Ayoka Peters aka Ayo Mi (My Joy) with Love of her life, Shina Akanbi Peters aka Olu Mi (My Lord)
Madam, we are deeply honored for the privileged given ‘small us’ to be the first to meet and talk to you after you returned from your 18 months treatment in the USA. I know a lot of big colleagues have come around but you gave us the privilege. I am very, very grateful. Let me start by asking how did you discover your cancer?
Well, to start with, you said ‘small you’, Dan, you are not small and you will never be small in Jesus name. We are all mighty and big in the presence of God. The challenge was something that came like a shock to me; it was a shock to me because even though I learnt it could be hereditary in most cases, I later got to know that it is not all cancerous cells that are hereditary. Some just come maybe with age and menopause. I want to shed more light on this because I want a lot of Nigerians especially women to have a knowledge of this type of cancer and you will be the first journalist that I will reveal the kind of cancer that I have to. Nobody knew the brand of cancer I went through, nobody, I repeat nobody knows what brand of cancer I went through. They just say cancer! Cancer!! Cancer!!! But nobody ever found out the kind of cancer I went through. It was a breast cancer.
Sammie Ayoka Peters in an elegant posture before the interview
How did you detect your cancer?
I was feeling funny, though not with much pain but my body was just feeling funny. Why cancer kills many people is the fact that it is a painless disease, it is when it gets to the last stage, that you start feeling the pain. I was like ‘what is wrong with me?’ Because I was feeling some kind of dull pain on one of my breasts, I am that kind of person that listens to my body language. It is always good to listen to your body language because our body talks to us, when you have headache, don’t take it lightly. No, you have to go for a check. That is why in America they don’t take anything lightly. They are no God and they don’t take things lightly. So, I am a kind of person who doesn’t take my health signals lightly. I normally go for mammogram which is a yearly schedule for me.  But of recent, I just relaxed for reasons I can’t explain for now. So, when I got the alarm I said let me go for medical check up. I didn’t go to any doctor I just went to the laboratory center straight and I said ‘I want to carry out a health check on my body’ and they did. What really shocked me was that this is a thing I have been doing for years, on a normal day they will tell me ‘Madam, you are okay’ but on this very day, they told me nothing. They said ‘you can go; we are going to give you a call’. From that moment I became worried ‘what is going on here?’ and I asked the guy ‘Why are you not telling me my result immediately?’ and he said ‘Mummy, don’t worry, we will surely call you and brief you’.  I said ‘ok’ and I left. 
But deep down in my heart, I was worried. Deeply worried, even before the result came, I knew something was wrong. Something was not right. So I waited and I was called and I went back. And when I got there they did the text again and they said they will get back to me.
Sammie Ayoka Peters exchanging pleasantries with the GDA before the chat began
They later came back and the guy said ‘Oh, we found a tumor in one of your breasts and we advise that you go and take care of it’. He just said the thing casually as if it was not that important but my worry grew and I went to my long time doctor. On getting there, he examined me. Of course he is not an oncologist and he shouldn’t have touched the breast in the first place. I was further advised to go for biopsy but I didn’t know the full meaning of biopsy at the time. I later got to know that it is a proper check up where a needle is struck into the breast to drain out a portion of the tumor to test if it is cancerous or not because not all tumors are cancerous. And people said to me, ‘because you are in your 50s, because of menopause just try to remove it’ because we found it early. It was like some 2 centimeters or thereabout. But due to my lack of understanding of how the healing process works, I just went for the surgery immediately and after the whole thing I became discomforted because the thing was not healing fast as it should. He (Doctor) told me that after the surgery he will be taking the solid mass he found to South Africa for further test. 
“Ayo mi, you are not going to die. You are my wife, I serve a living God and He is a faithful God, this is a trying moment but we will weather it together. You are not going to die. You are still under me, if you leave me, if you divorce me tomorrow you might die but now you are still under me you are not going to die”
Sammie Peters to Asabeafrika...'At a point in time i was asking God if i did committed a sin that was too unforgiven but my new findings in America changed that perception'
So, I had to return to complain to him that this thing is not healing up on time and I said ‘I hope there is no problem?’ and he said “There is problem” my heart skipped. And I said “Sir, what is going on?” and he said “Sit down Sammie, just sit down”. My husband was in London at the time and he came on the phone to join us in the discussion. When he heard “There is problem” he hung abruptly. I knew he was scared. So, I sat down and said “What is the problem?” and he said the tumor he found is cancerous and that he wants me to go and take care of myself even if it means I will need to go to India, that if I need doctors he can introduce some to me. I was shocked. In the initial stage you will be shocked, you will be sad, I cried and many things went through my mind. I was thinking of my last born Clinton because my first daughter and Olumide my first son are adults who can take care of themselves but what about Clinton? So, my initial fear went for my children, I was devastated, I was sad, I cried and most importantly my partner (SSP) who I should be talking to was not around. That day I went to the hospital with my sister-in-law and my driver, so, I tried to keep my cool when I came out. I didn’t cry in their presence but I was shaking, I was like ‘Ah, I am dead, I am dead,’ but my doctor kept telling me ‘You are not dead, if it is found early, it could be taken off’. When he mentioned India, I said ‘No, no, no’ because I have never heard stories of people who went through cancer and survived. We don’t hear such news in Nigeria not until I went to America and I now found out. I saw several people (In America) that went through cancer and came out of it happy. I was really scared even though we are all going to die someday but it was fearful that one will be aware of one’s own. It was a terrible experience.
So, when I got there (America) they use their machine to check all over my system from my head down to my toes and they found out that the cancerous cells has not spread and that led to a round a jubilation for me and my family, it was as if I was even told that I don’t have cancer at all, the Doctor assured me that since it hasn’t spread, it could be curtailed and erased and I will get out of it and that was like a relief for me and my family.
Sammie Peters to Asabeafrika...'In facing the reality of my cancer discovery, i was afraid for my absence in the life of tender-hearted husband & and jolly hearted last born'
How Shina Peters reacted to my Cancer discovery
How did your husband handle the shock when your doctor broke the news to family?
He was in the UK like I rightly said. He hung up abruptly like I told you earlier but he called the Doctor back in three minutes and the doctor briefed him and he equally called me. He said “Ayo mi, you are not going to die. You are my wife, I serve a living God and He is a faithful God, this is a trying moment but we will weather it together. You are not going to die. You are still under me, if you leave me, if you divorce me tomorrow you might die but now you are still under me you are not going to die”. He was trying to get me out of my sad mood.
Sammie Peters to Asabeafrika...'My Cancer experience changed everything about me'
Were you so panicked?
It was not even about being panic because when you find yourself in situations like that, it is not even panic, you panic about what? Everybody is going to die one day but I was sad because I was thinking mainly about my children and about my last born especially, I wondered how he was going to survive without me being around. Because if you are dead you are gone and you won’t know what takes place in your absence. But of course we will die someday, anyway. So, I wasn’t really thinking about myself. I was thinking ‘what is it that is going to happen to my children and to my husband?’ Because this husband of mine, you know men are like children. My husband is like my big baby. I just have this belief, that if I leave or something happens to me and I go, he is going to start changing women. He is going to start changing women, this one will come and go, and the other one will come and will go because it is like I have really spoilt him. He is spoilt. He is a spoilt baby. I allow him get away with everything, he will go out, he will sleep out, he will do whatever he likes, everything. All this male stuffs, my husband will do it and he will get away scot free with it but he will not be able to do that with other women, they are going to deal with him hard. They will deal with him so bad and he will miss me so bad (Hearty Laughter). I was thinking of everything altogether. Then at the end of the day I was like thanking God again, that God has given me the chance to reconcile with him, if there is anything you have done wrong, you will be able to ask for forgiveness of sin and everything, because we are all sinners. I don’t know of any particular sin that I have committed to have warranted what happened but I just know that we are all sinners and at that moment I was just asking God ‘Have I sinned, have I done something wrong?’ but when I got to America I now read some literatures on cancer and it was there all the guilt left me because I now fully realized why I was a victim. It happens. Like when I was questioning God saying ‘maybe I have sinned, oh God forgive me’, this tiny voice just kept telling me ‘What did 5 years old child do for her to have cancer?’ because we have children of 5 to 10 years old who are victims of cancer and they die eventually while some survive.
Sammie Peters to Asabeafrika...'My husband support and total love added to my advantage'
Why I changed my diet…
From the literatures you read on cancer would say your own came as a result of the kind of creams you use on your body or foods that goes into your stomach?
No, I have never read where cancers are attached to the use of creams but about food, yes. The foods we eat contribute a lot to our health. Either you have cancer; either it is diabetes, high blood pressure or kidney problem. Like 90% of what we eat contribute to our state of health. But some are hereditary, but even if you have a particular disease in your linage, with the kind of food you eat, you can correct your situation because now, I don’t just eat anything again. I have changed my diet. I don’t take white sugar; I don’t eat much of carbohydrate. Mind you, carbohydrates is good but just eat minimal and let your veggies be more than your solid.

Sammie Peters to Asabeafrika...'Until i got to America, i never heard the news of anyone surviving cancer in Nigeria'
What type of foods do you think people should eat or not eat?
I can tell you that in my own case, my doctor didn’t sit me down to tell me eat this or eat that after my healing, I decided that I don’t want to die now, I wanted to still live a little bit longer. So, I made a Google research, of course in America they will give you nutritionists who will tell you what to eat but I didn’t stat with the nutritionist advice alone. I went to Google to seek what to eat and how you can survive the nutritional hazards. Number one, there is what we call alkaline foods, alkaline foods are something natural from God, they are foods that God wants us to be eating, any food that grows from the ground or on the trees, veggies and cereals. It is not that you can’t eat yam but you can eat a very small portion of yam with lots of veggies. You can make the yam your side dish and make the veggies the main food, and instead of eating yam, you can even eat sweet potatoes. When you hear Sweet Potato you will think it will turn to sugar in your body but that is not the case. Sweet Potato would not turn to Sugar in your body; you can eat Sweet Potato with lot of veggies.  My meal regime has equally changed. My break fast starts with Lemon or lime with warm water, the water must not be hot but warm so that it will not kill all the nutrients in the lemon.
Sammie Peters to Asabeafrika...'There is more to learn from my experience for all women'
It will be warm as you drink, then 30 minutes later you can take Oaths with Soya milk. You know Soya milk is not cow milk, it is not diary it is cereal. I use the powder one since I return but there in America we have the liquid one, which I drink. Then, instead of taking sugar, I can take Apple; I will peal off the skin of the apple to starve off chemical spray on it. After pealing, I cut into cubes and miss it with my Oat meal. So, I take Oat meal in the morning with my soya milk mixed with apple for breakfast. And at times you can also eat unripe plantain with lots of vegetables and you will see carrots in my vegetable, you will see carrot, I put onions, I put tomatoes and I put hot pepper (Ata Rodo) to make it spicy. You know we Africans love spicy meals, so I take it like that. Then, in the afternoon, I take Plantain Powder (Plantain Amala), I can take that with Okra. Okra is fiber, any veggie is good. So, you must eat a lot of things that grows from the soil not processed food, processed meals are acidic meals. So, make it organic.
What about fast foods? 
No, no, no, it is no go area. Rice, no. If you want to eat rice, eat our local Ofada rice and don’t eat too much of it, red meat is a no go area. White sugar, brown sugar, anything sugar is a no go area. Your doctors will do their best but the rest lies with you.
Sammie Peters to Asabeafrika...'When my Doctor told me i had cancer i thought i was going to die but here i am by God's grace'
How I reacted to news of my cancer ordeal in the media
How did you feel when the news of your illness became public knowledge?
You know it was this Linda (Lindaikejiblog) that broke the news. I didn’t tell my friends, I didn’t tell my extended family members, it was just within the family, myself, my husband and my children (Sade and Olumide) who knew about it. I didn’t even tell Clinton because I felt he was too young to handle it but when the news broke, I thank God that my husband was in America at that moment. He came in on the 3rd of January (2015); so, he was with me and the news broke in that same January. I was upset initially because I didn’t want anybody to know at the time. I was still going through Chemotherapy (Kimo) which was the most challenging aspect of the healing process, I did Kimo, I did radiation, and I did surgery. I was going through a lot of things that affected my emotion and my whole being. My appearance and everything about me changed. So, I was going through a lot of emotional distress as a result of the Kimo process (Chemotherapy) at the time because I started my Kimo in December and the news broke in January. So, I was so sad, I cried, I said everybody has got to know to know my ordeal. This one will call ‘I heard this I heard that’ and calls kept coming after the report broke. But thank God my husband was around and he was able to manage it very well. And he said to me ‘Things like this will definitely happen, you are my wife, you are Shina Peters’ wife, and you can’t hide it from the press. Just be open about it, if you start hiding, telling them stories, they won’t leave you alone. They will eventually keep digging and digging until the truth comes out. So, better let it go this way’. So, I later read LindaIkeji’s blog, they told me the name because I have never heard of it before, that was my first time and I went on it and I saw lots of comments, people were saying “No, no, not again. Not this woman, not again’; as I was reading and seeing those comments I became happy, at the same time I felt loved, I was touched and all the good emotions came back. I was like ‘Oh, God! People love me like this?’ I didn’t realize that until the problem came and I was just telling God “You are not going to let me die, not now. I want people to just use me as a point of prayer to you that the God that cured Sammie Peters of cancer please cure me”.
Sammie Peters to Asabeafrika...'When the news of my illness broke on LindaIkeji i was sad but good comments from majority Nigerians healed my heart'
How did the illness affect the running of your school, Intellect Stars?
When you have a life threatening illness the first thing you think about is your life. So, I wasn’t thinking about the school per se, I was concentrated on my treatment. Though my son (Olumide) was managing the school with other administrators and he was doing well. I was equally concerned about my kids, the pupils and I will call once in a while to ask after them. I was concerned about my children and I will say ‘Please buy biscuit for them’ because I used to buy biscuit and sweet for them every Friday. In a while, I will just give them a treat from nowhere. And my son will say ‘Ah, we will wait until you come oo, I can’t do that, buying biscuit and sweet from which account?’ and I will say ‘Please, manage, ok, remove it from the school account’. I was mostly concerned about my health; it came first because what I had about the Kimo (Chemotherapy) was not nice. In fighting the bad cells, Kimo kills all the good cells as well and many cells die in the process. In most cases, it is not even the cancer that kills people but the healing process which is tedious, many can’t handle it. I was deep scared but well, it is gone and I am here. Glory is to God Almighty.

(Watch Out for Part 2 of the Sammie Peters’ Exclusive tomorrow on this blog tagged “How My Husband (SSP) nearly sold our mansion to fund my treatment abroad”)

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