As we are wrapping up breast cancer awareness month, more light is being shed about breast cancer by those who have been fighting it. Vernac News spoke to Mawisa Chauke. She is a breast cancer survivor who took us through her journey of her diagnosis and survival of it.
1. Tell us a little bit more about yourself
I am a 32-year-old female from Matiyani village in Limpopo. I am currently residing in Centurion. I am a mother of a handsome son. I love people and making an impact on people’s lives.
2. When were you diagnosed with breast cancer?
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2019. I felt a painful lump in my left breast. I went to the doctor to check what was going on. The radiologist told me it cannot be cancer because it was painful and growing big.
3. How did you feel when you were first diagnosed?
I was hurt and shocked as the radiologist told me that ladies at my age get fibrosis on their breasts. Furthermore, I did not expect breast cancer, although a part of me said that it could be some type of cancer. I had hoped that it was not breast cancer since the doctor told me that cancer lumps are not painful. After being diagnosed, thoughts of dying crossed my mind. I had a fear of dying and leaving my son, who was seven years old.
4. How did your family react when you shared your diagnosis with them?
They were also shocked, as they were not expecting this kind of news. However, they were positive, motivating, kept faith, prayed for me and also supported me throughout.
5. How would you describe what it was like to battle and survive breast cancer?
It was a battle that needed me to be strong because it was not an easy journey. I feel blessed and favoured to have survived breast cancer. I am a conqueror and I believe that God has given me a second chance to live my life with purpose. I was told in October last year that there is no trace of breast cancer, but I am still in remission and I am going for treatment and checkups every now and then.
6. What advice would you give a breast cancer patient who has just been diagnosed?
You are a fighter – keep up the fighting spirit. Do not lose hope, stay positive, adhere to the treatment and you will win this battle. It is possible to survive breast cancer. I did it – you can do it too.
7. What is the most important thing that you wish people knew about breast cancer?
Breast Cancer is not a life sentence and people must support those who are diagnosed with breast cancer. The more a person receives love, care and support, makes it even more possible to win the battle against breast cancer.
Mawisa is starting an NPO called ‘Mawisa The Survivor’ that will advocate for cancer survivors in underprivileged communities.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Vernac News.