“God spared me from getting breast cancer! I am committed to telling the world what God did for me and to help others along the way,” says Dr. Paasewe. “I was admitted to the cancer unit for surgery where I heard patients groan for pain, and there, this song was born: ‘You Are Worthy, Lord!'” says Dr. Paasewe, an immigrant from Liberia, mother of six and physician.
More white women get breast cancer, but more black women die of the disease because they are diagnosed in advanced stages and develop more aggressive breast cancer. Could inadequate health awareness, not knowing how to self-advocate, and not detecting the early signs affect the outcome of diseases in the African American population?
In some African cultures, health issues are kept as deep secrets, associated with shame, causing women to suffer in silence, resulting in advanced diagnoses for many diseases. She wants to ensure that these factors do not cause these disparities.
Dr. Paasewe is passionate about health and wellness and is inspiring perseverance and self-advocacy despite her pain and multiple constructive surgeries. She is on a dual mission for health advocacy and winning souls for Jesus Christ at the Word of Hope Community Church – Milwaukee, where she works alongside her husband to spread the Gospel. Her songs are about faith, praise, strength, and encouragement to build relationships with the Lord. Listen to her single: Will You Be Ready?
This health journey started in 2008 when she experienced a bloody nipple discharge in one breast. Surgery was performed, and after her six-month follow-up mammogram, she was informed that a biopsy and another surgery were needed because the first surgery was not done correctly. The doctors were determined to treat only the affected breast, but she demanded that the doctor examine her other breast, where three areas of precancerous cells were discovered.
After several biopsies, procedures, and the discovery and confirmation of four areas of precancerous cells in both breasts, the decision was made to remove both breasts. “What if I hadn’t insisted they examine my other breast?” she asks.
Dr. Paasewe reports how advocacy can save the lives of those we love dearly:
“In January 2020, my husband was in the emergency room for severe chest pain, had a normal EKG, was misdiagnosed with acid reflux, and was about to be discharged when I asked his doctor a question. She returned with new test results and a different plan, including an immediate transfer by ambulance to the heart hospital because “he had a heart attack.” His Troponin level was nine, and a stent was placed, but we could have lost him that day.”
Dr. Paasewe is the Founder/CEO of State of Inspiration Productions, whose motto is Inspiring Perseverance. Her music website is https://www.dahlenesmusic.com. She earned a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree in Medicine and Surgery from the A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine in Liberia and holds a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree in health service management from DeVry University. She is currently a professor at the Milwaukee Area Technical College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.