“It could never happen to me”
In 2004 I was riding the waves of success; being a successful business woman, supporting two children at university and caring for my 90-year-old mother on top of it all. I was happy with my achievements and satisfied where I was at in my life. Then, BANG: “You have breast cancer.”
I decided not to tell my family. I thought that I could handle this myself. My mother went to her grave not knowing about the diagnosis. I eventually told my two children and they were very annoyed with me for not telling them about the cancer sooner.
I decided to join CANSA for support while I was undergoing chemotherapy and fortunately I did not lose my hair and am in remission for 12 years.
After relocating to Barberton I joined the Barberton Liaison Committee and I was nominated to be chairperson eight years ago. We have participated in many CANSA events like the CANSA Shavathon and arranged breast cancer walks, prostate cancer walks and childhood cancer walks. In 2012, CANSA Relay For Life Barberton was launched.
Although I had attended six CANSA Relays in Nelspruit, the event in Barberton was the highlight in my life. The Survivors’ Lap was very emotional, just walking around the track with my fellow survivors. The highlight was the Luminaria ceremony. It is there that I realised how fortunate I am to be able to share my story and to be able to help in the fight against cancer.