“When the doctor told me that I had cervical cancer, I thought I was going to die because I had heard that cancer kills.”
These are the words of Annah Moyane (68), a cancer survivor from Tembisa in Ekurhuleni.
Condition too serious to wait
Moyane’s journey to healing started in 2012 when she suddenly started bleeding badly at age 62 after having been menopausal for a decade. After two weeks she went to her local clinic for medical attention.
“When I got to the clinic, I asked to have a pap-smear done because I had been working as a community health worker and had learned about cancer over the years. But the nurse told me to wait for the bleeding to stop before having a pap-smear.”
Moyane felt that her condition was too serious to wait and went to Tembisa Hospital where she saw a gynaecologist after having had her regular eye check-up at the optometry department.
“Before I could see the doctor, they asked me if I had a referral letter from the clinic. I explained why I did not have the letter and they realised the urgency of my condition. The doctor at the family clinic section of the hospital referred me to the gynaecologist who did various tests, including a biopsy.”
The results confirmed Moyane’s fears.
“The doctor told me that I had cervical cancer. I was shattered and fearful of what the diagnosis meant. What gave me hope was the doctor telling me I would be healed if I got treatment as soon as possible,” she said.
'The worst was over'
Moyane was then transferred to Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Tshwane where she started treatment at the oncology unit.
“I had radiotherapy at the hospital for three weeks. It was painful at times, but I could see that I was getting better and the bleeding stopped. I was also relieved that chemotherapy was not part of my treatment. I was lucky that the cancer was discovered early,” said Moyane.
On her last day of radiotherapy, in January 2013, a party was thrown for her and other patients as they were all declared cancer survivors.
“It was a joyful day because the worst was over. I then had to attend regular check-ups to monitor my progress and check that the cancer had not returned.”
Moyane hopes her story will be an encouragement to other women.
“Women must be aware of any changes in their bodies and they must have a pap-smear at least once a year to check for cancer. Early detection does save lives. People should not die from diseases that can be cured if found early,” she said.
Moyane was again declared cancer free and discharged from Steve Biko in August 2018 but continues to go for check-ups every year – something she believes all women should do. – Health-e News.
Image credit: Health-e News