It is amazing how we can feign the martyrdom role even in illness. When my close relative was diagnosed with cancer 6 months ago, he chose not to go ahead with the extreme option of bladder removal. It is a denial mindset that he went into straight away and very solemnly swore he was going to do everything possible to shrink this unruly tumour. Not understanding the stage he was at, nor the size of the tumour, he embarked on a vigorous dosage of herbs, natural oils and more.
His choice was to fight his cancer the natural way. We read and hear about the huge success rates. I have always been a supporter of the natural option first and supported him in this decision. What we do not read and take into account, is the type of cancer you have, the size of your tumour and of course the stage you at.
After visiting with him on one Friday afternoon, I felt so sad as I knew he was becoming weaker and his medication was not working. As he had bladder cancer, he started bleeding profusely each time he needed to urinate. And when he eventually did pass urine, it was with great difficulty. He refused to seek any medical attention as he believed he was getting better. I felt panicky and frantic. How was I going to convince him to get to hospital? how far is he? did the tumour grow bigger? did it spread to his other organs? These were all the questions tormenting me.
Feeling helpless and with no one to speak to who would understand these concerns, I sent a very long email to CANSA.
As the most visible and known organization, I decided they had a reason for being there and I needed to speak with someone in the know. This email was sent on a Friday evening out of desperation and on Tuesday morning, I received a very pleasant call from one of their advocacy consultants.
Nonhlanhla was patient, compassionate and very sympathetic to our situation. After chatting for about 15 minutes telephonically, she confirmed she would send a consultant to the home of the cancer patient. She further followed up with an email and offered counseling and support and was absolutely amazing in her approach.
In a time when we confronted by mostly aggression and challenges on all levels, it was a big surprise to have this organization respond and deal with us in such a concerned and friendly manner. Support and kindness from strangers is rare.
Right now, my relative is back in hospital and we pray for a good outcome. His choice to fight for life and help comes from a place of knowing he is supported by loved ones and organizations that understands the nature of this beast called cancer.
I applaud CANSA in their approach and have consciously made an intention to partake in their numerous fund raising initiatives as we have experienced their services first hand.
I will update you on our progress and interaction with them further.
article written by Rayana Edwards