Weh Dem Up To: Gaza Indu beats cancer - Entertainer talks about her battle for life
October usually brings many emotions for former dancehall deejay Dashia 'Gaza Indu' Muir.
It is the month that she gave birth to her twins in 2014, something that was uncertain, as an earlier ultrasound also showed a mass on her cervix.
"I had never been hospitalised for any illness before, I was not a person to get sick. The initial news about the mass made me burst into tears, nothing could calm me down," she said.
Three months later, she began experiencing non-stop vaginal bleeding. Doctors recommended various tests, including a biopsy.
"The bleeding lasted for about six months straight, every single day," Gaza Indu said. "It was uncomfortable and it made me weak. I had to get fluids and blood transfusions constantly."
The artiste had two older children and she refused to tell them she was ill.
It was a relief when she gave birth to healthy twins on October 13 through normal delivery.
The births put her at ease emotionally but she did not return to the hospital for any treatment and was haunted by the fear of her four children growing up without her.
"One day, I realised I could not move to pick up the twins (then a few months old) so I called my mother and told her, 'If you don't take me to a doctor or hospital you will lose me'," she said. "She sent my aunt for me, who took me to a doctor. He examined me and instantly said that the mass and bleeding were a sign of cervical cancer and that I had options, such as doing a hysterectomy to remove my womb, which had cost about $450,000."
The initial diagnosis was later confirmed by doctors at the Kingston Public Hospital; she had stage-two cervical cancer.
She said: "Hearing everybody talk about the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation got me scared. Things like it is poison to the body, it cause easy infection, organ damage and hair loss. All I could think is hold on, nuh death next?"
Again, she chose not to start treatment, and when she returned to hospital in 2016, the cancer had progressed to stage three.
She also found out that her father had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The bad news plus the chemotherapy and radiation treatment damaged her. She lost more than 50 pounds in a couple of months of treatment.
She reached out to persons within the music industry, but help did not come easily.
She praised Kimberly Mais (girlfriend of the late selector, Niko Chromatic), Gaza Sheba, and her doctor, Dr Kaie-Ann Smith, for their constant emotional support.
Gaza Indu is one of the five original female members of Vybz Kartel's Portmore Empire and received her 'buss' when it was revealed that she was the female voice on the single Completely/Come Breed Me.
She has not recorded any new music since 2015, but said any new material would reflect her battle with cancer, and have a positive message for her listeners.
"This thing they call cancer, from breast to cervical to prostate, is taking down persons so fast and I want to be able to provide emotional support to others, because that's what cancer patients need most," she said. "My father did his surgery while I was undergoing the last phase of treatment. One of my aunts is also a survivor of breast cancer."
The last MRI Gaza Indu did in August showed that she was cancer-free.