Breast cancer survivor tells her story

2016-10-13 06:00
Joyce Govender is a breast cancer survivor and encourages people to stay positive. Photo: supplied

Joyce Govender is a breast cancer survivor and encourages people to stay positive. Photo: supplied

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FINDING out that you have breast cancer can be a shock and a set back.

A Tongaat mother and grandmother shares her experiences with the Weekly.

Joyce Govender (63) was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997 at RK Khan Hospital at the age of 40. She went for a surgical procedure (lumpectomy) to remove an underarm lump near her right breast.

“I was diagnosed at RK Khan Hospital in 1997 in Chatsworth. When doctors told me that I had breast cancer, I was very upset and depressed because I was under the impression that cancer is a death sentence.

“I wept and prayed in hospital. I had surgery on my right breast and an underarm lump was removed,” she said.

She told the Weekly that she has become a living testimony in her community as she defeated breast cancer in its early stages.

Govender is spreading a message of hope to senior citizen clubs in Belvedere and encourages other residents to go for regular cancer check-ups to the clinic.

Despite all challenges she encountered in her life, she is now volunteer raising breast cancer awareness in Tongaat.

“I offer counselling to people regarding breast cancer. My intention is to give people hope and encourage them to live a positive life. I started doing counseling a year after I found out that I had breast cancer.

“Perhaps the support that I received from my family and friends is what motivated me to be optimistic and conquer the disease.

“I go for checkups every year to Mediclinic Victoria Hospital in Tongaat and the results so far have been have been good. I can say with no doubts that I am a breast cancer survivor,” she said.

In 2010 she was one of the volunteers at Verulam Regional Hospice participating in community outreach projects.

“Breast cancer is not the end of the world and people must not lose hope. Prayer changes everything and you can overcome anything if you have faith as little as a mustard seed.

“I am so glad that I can be a living testimony and set an example that life goes on despite all obstacles I encountered in my life,” she said.

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