‘I’m a symbol of hope’

2017-06-27 14:15
Cancer survivor and activist Aneetha Moodley is living proof that ‘cancer is not a death sentence’. She has dedicated her life to help support cancer patients through treatment.

Cancer survivor and activist Aneetha Moodley is living proof that ‘cancer is not a death sentence’. She has dedicated her life to help support cancer patients through treatment. (Ian Carbutt)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cancer survivor Aneetha Moodley is a “symbol of hope” to all those who think cancer is a death sentence.

After being diagnosed with colo­rectal cancer (cancer of the large intestine) nine years ago, Moodley, who is a retired social worker, has dedicated her life to volunteering as she provides counselling for cancer patients in and around the Midlands.

The Raisethorpe mother of two said although she retired as a professional social worker she still considered herself as one because of the voluntary work she does at the CANSA Association.

“I developed problems with bowel movements due to what I thought was stress from my job and life at the time. I had a seven-month treatment for a non-cancer-related illness until I insisted on getting more tests done and that’s when I was diagnosed with stage three colorectal cancer in 2008.

“It is a common problem. People are diagnosed pretty late even though the symptoms are there, people are treated for a variety of other things and that has a great impact on the outcome of the treatment.

“If my cancer was detected sooner the treatment would have not been as aggressive.

“Treating the cancer was absolutely horrific. I had surgery and had part of my colon removed, I had chemotherapy, radiation and the side effects were absolutely devastating.

“What I realised is that when you are diagnosed you feel okay but when they start to treat the cancer, that is when you really get sick.

“Unfortunately for me the radiation treatment damaged my small intestines and I had to get a portion of it removed, so I ended up having removed part of my colon and small intestine.

“I now live with chronic diarrhoea.

“My treatment is over now but I still do annual checks. I still have to have treatment for my diarrhoea as it is a condition I will live with for the rest of my life.

“Cancer may impact the quality of one’s life but it definitely doesn’t end it.

“While working as a social worker I always wanted to do volunteer work but after my fight with cancer I knew that I had to volunteer at the Cancer Association.

“I started working there in January 2014.

“I help with patient care, which includes counselling for recently diagnosed patients and their families because often people panic and think cancer is a death sentence.

“I am a symbol of hope. Nine years after being diagnosed with cancer I am still alive, there is life after cancer.

“I help them to accept and go through the treatment because once you accept the diagnosis the healing process is easier.

“I work closely with the oncology unit at Grey’s Hospital where we offer counselling, do home visits, and telephone follow-ups for patients. We also donate from our pockets to provide for the patients who really have nothing.

“The patients who visit Grey’s often don’t have much, some come in from far flung places all around KZN and we help provide food and fruits for them while they wait to see the doctors.

“I also initiated a cancer support group three years ago where cancer patients and survivors get together and share their experiences, coping tips and just to offer support to one another.

“A diagnosis by a doctor is a clinical thing. I feel doctors are trained to diagnose and treat but they are not trained to deal with the emotional element that comes with the diagnosis.

“That is why it is so important to have a support structure and counselling.

“Being diagnosed with cancer comes as an extreme shock and without proper emotional support a patient cannot survive.

“It is important that people undertake lifestyle changes to prevent being diagnosed with cancer as prevention is better than treatment.”

Aneetha Moodley as told to Nompilo Kunene


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  pmb people

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.

/World
 

Fascinating facts about dogs

Think you know a lot about dogs? How many of these facts do you know?

 
 

Paws

Perfectly captured cat snapchats!
Fascinating facts about dogs
Out with the old dog, in with the new
Play with your pet when you're not at home
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.