7 July 2020, the day I received my breast cancer diagnosis. “Ms Phakathi, I’m sorry to tell you but unfortunately the tumor is cancerous.”
Wow, I remember that day like it was yesterday. My biopsy results came in and I got the dreaded phone call from the doctor that I had been diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer (after they detected two lumps in my breast after my mammogram). I discovered the one lump after a self-breast exam earlier that year.
I remember being so shocked and I cried so much after that call. I called a close friend of mine who prayed with me, and even though I was scared and felt so crushed, that prayer gave me hope that God will see me through this! I didn’t know how, but I knew He promised never to leave me.
Coming to terms with the news also took a while. Anxiety, fear and worry about the future also filled my mind some days BUT God’s grace kept me. I was reminded of His love for me every day. That gave me the courage to keep trusting and to keep going!
He also made sure to bring people around me to help me through my journey; from family and friends to my church family. There was always someone to drive me to my chemo sessions, someone to look after me while recovering after chemo. I also received some home-cooked meals during the time I was recovering from surgery.
I remember one time when I had to go in for my double mastectomy surgery I couldn’t get any visitors at the hospital due to Covid. I was sad about that but by God’s mercies I shared a room with another lady who was also going through her breast cancer journey and surgery. It was awesome to be able to have someone in the same room to chat and share the experience with.
There are many other stories, but each step of the way God provided. It was tough at times, but I was never alone. I get so emotional when I think about it and all I can say is: Thank you, Jesus!
Since my last check-up no visible traces of cancer cells have been detected; Praise God! I just need to make sure to keep going for my regular checkups, scans and blood tests.
I’ve also been put on hormone treatment for a couple of years to reduce my estrogen levels as the cancer feeds off the estrogen. This means I will be on early menopause for the next few years, but what I am most grateful for is LIFE!
This picture was actually taken on my birthday last year and I love it! Two weeks before I had gone in for my chemotherapy session. I was still a bit fatigued, but on this day I remember just being in the moment; happy, grateful for another year and reminded of God’s goodness.
Thanks to everyone for your continued prayers, messages and love!
Author: Nangamso Phakathi
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