Breast cancer survivor’s message of hope

2015-10-15 06:00
PHOTO: supplied

Lyndall Valentine is a breast cancer survivor.

PHOTO: supplied Lyndall Valentine is a breast cancer survivor.

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A 32-YEAR-OLD breast cancer survivor from Uvongo shared her journey with Fever readers this week.

Lyndall Valentine (32), mother of two boys aged six and 13, was diagnosed last year.

Valentine works as a rental agent for Just Property Group in Margate.

“I was diagnosed last September after finding a lump in my breast, which I had ignored for nine months,” she said.

Upon receiving the news, Valentine said she was not only fearful, angry and in shock, but thought, “cancer picked the wrong one”.

“Being a mother, I pledged to fight as hard as I could from the start. As angry as I was, I needed to fight.”

She said it came as a huge shock to everyone close to her and her children were affected the most.

“Even though I was very open with them from the beginning and promised them I would beat it, it still impacted their lives drastically,” she said.

Treatments began two months later and Valentine says the chemotherapy was dreadful.

“The red devil chemo treatment was by far the worst. With the name ‘red devil’ I suppose you can’t really expect much less than what the name describes.”

She said it made her feel as though she was being attacked by the devil himself, but she also believes it saved her life.

“Through it all, I learnt a lot about inner strength and coping strategies that I never knew existed. I learnt to appreciate the simple things one takes for granted,” she said.

“Everyone holds an inner strength within themselves that only gets found when they have no other choice.”

Besides hair loss, which is growing back now, Valentine says she can see physical changes in her face.

“I have aged, but I have been given a second chance at life,” she said.

Valentine said she advises women to get screened.

“Know your body and don’t ignore anything irregular. Remember that breast cancer not only affects women. I was always told that it’s not necessary to have a mammogram before the age of 40.

“That is not the truth. I was 31 when diagnosed,” she added.

She said those who have recently been diagnosed must “fight like a girl, and with all you’ve got”.

“Yes it’s scary and frightening, but do not lie down and give up.

“I truly believe the treatment is only a percentage of the healing. A positive mind plays a huge role in healing.”

“I’m extremely grateful that my cancer was caught at an early stage and that the treatment worked for me.

“Sadly not everyone is as fortunate as I was, even though they fought just as hard as I did.”

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