As many will know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I have decided to dedicate the whole month to share a close friend’s journey with the disease. She was only 26 when she was first diagnosed and this is her story…
14 December 2015
On my last doctor’s visit for 2015 I intentionally walked in fifteen minutes after my scheduled time with Dr. J. I did this simply because I was kinda expecting him to be running late as well, since it was his last day at the office before he went on vacation.
I must have guessed right because as I took my seat, I immediately heard my name being called into his consultation room. I walked in and pleasantries were exchanged between us. He has the warmest smile that always makes me momentarily forget why I am meeting up with him in the first place but then reality quickly settles in when he enquires about the cancer that has acquainted us.
I am here to see him for my weekly chemotherapy. I give him many updates about the effect the treatment has had on my body; one of them is that my periods are back and they’ve been around for a whole 9 days now. He seems concerned and records this in his notes.
That morning I’d suffered from a bad case of what we call the F’s (Fucked with Fatigue), this is normal I’ve been told many times but I still feel the need to vent it out to the only other person who understands this sickness.
He gives me something for the excessive blood flow but that is really not even the least of my worries right now. I’m instructed to take 2 of the pills for no more than five days. We casually chat for a little while longer, and then he wishes me safe travels back home to East London and I wish him a happy holiday with his family.
Next I meet up with Sister G who gives me an Amla plaster to put in my port. It has a magnetic feel in the middle, which makes the needle insertion part pop up and be visible. Sister G is a lovely Afrikaans speaking lady who I’ve grown very fond of, she is the sweetest and really makes the place feel homey.
The plaster must be removed before the needle is inserted, the water based sterilizer is also used, then the drip is connected and it will administer about 6 bags of my treatment. The infusion will take about two hours of my day, I’ll pass time with my Mary Higgins Clark book so I’ll be okay.
My mind drifts off as I read and there in the most emotional year of my life, I find God in every fragment of my cancer story. I went from asking ‘WHY ME?’ to ‘It had to be me because God knew He’d be with me all the way.’
He’s given me the best support through people who have made the journey easier and well worth the fight. I don’t want cancer and I wouldn’t choose it for myself if I was given the option but now that I have it, I choose to be a soldier. I choose to fight this battle even though tomorrow isn’t promised. I choose to share my story to educate others or even scaring them enough to take health checkups seriously. I choose to be an ambassador that’s determined to shine a light of hope, strength and of undeterred FAITH.
When my chemotherapy is done, I gleefully wish everyone a Merry Christmas because my next two sessions will be done in East London, over the next two weeks that I’ll be spending back home.
Photo By: Olebogeng Masiane