CANSA Relay For Life

Fight Back

The responsibility rests with patients to contact CANSA for assistance. Read more...

Awatief Fish: GHOH (Survivor and Caregiver)

Prior to a mammogram I detected a lump in my breast and, after all the training and interaction I had with CANSA, I knew that early detection is of the essence thus I scheduled a mammogram and an ultrasound immediately, which was set for 7 June 2021. The outcome suggested a biopsy followed by scans and blood tests.

I felt a certain amount of shock when the results came in, it was T2 Breast cancer, larger tumours that have grown more deeply into nearby tissue which could potentially have spread.

On 14 June 2021 I was diagnosed with HER 2 Positive Breast Cancer (Human Epidermal Receptor), meaning a protein which promotes the growth of cancer cells as a result of more than one copy of the gene.

My first thought at the time was how to break the news to my husband, who was dealing with a health situation of his own, he was bedridden and required long term therapy. Despite his own journey, he tried his very best to be a source of support.

My treatment included chemotherapy sessions, a series of Herceptin treatments, a lumpectomy and radiation each with their very own set of challenges, during which time my husband’s health deteriorated and he succumbed to it in December of the same year. My journey ended in April 2022, and I am currently in remission.

I was introduced to CANSA Relay For Life through a family member and was exposed to so many essential components of cancer education and became very involved and knowledgeable through the teachings of CANSA. Upon my first visit to CANSA Relay For Life, Athlone, I knew I wanted to be a part of the family.

I am currently the Survivorship Chairperson for CANSA Relay For Life, Athlone, and enjoy the different interactions with our Survivors. Participating in CANSA Relay For Life, Shavathon and other CANSA fundraising events as well as being part of a team is a unique ongoing experience which is different for everyone. Our team, Team Pulsar, arranges regular breakfast runs, gala dinners and, during lockdown, virtual runs where each of our family members sponsored a runner. We have also visited those who were diagnosed and in hospital or at home to show our support.

CANSA Relay For Life has taught me and so many people how to radiate their positive energy and to build on their strengths as both Survivors and Caregivers. I have been inspired and supported by my husband, family, friends and CANSA family whom I thank for walking next to me on my journey and for lifting me over the stumbling blocks. No one is ever prepared for cancer but through acceptance and understanding, we live by the joy of giving because each of us are destined for greater things.

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