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Empowerment: Mason Urges Men To Support Wives During Cancer Diagnosis

Empowerment: Mason Urges Men To Support Wives During Cancer Diagnosis
Vani Smith with her family.
September 24
15:46 2017

Fiji Golden Oldies Club president Mason Smith said men needed to take up responsibility when their wives underwent treatment.

Mr Smith’s wife, Vani Vulavou Smith survived cervical cancer and two additional growths in her body

“As a family, it took us time to accept her diagnosis but we provided her with support morally and medically,” Mr Smith said.

“It’s not the end of the road because this is what you agree to when you say “I do”. It’s for better or worse not just being there during the good times so you need to be there for your wife no matter what,” he said.

Mrs Smith said she was grateful for her family’s support.

“For me personally I was blessed that I have a husband who did the best for me because  a few of my friends who are cancer survivors experienced their spouses leaving them when they needed them the most during the initial stages of cancer and that’s something no woman should ever go through,” Mrs Smith said.

Mrs Smith said her hysterectomy was conducted in 2006 shortly after her diagnosis the same year.

“After my surgery I had complications. The cancer had spread and I had pus in my stomach,” she said.

“At that time my husband was the chief of staff in the army and he told two women to come look after our children and because of the smell that had come with the infection my kids were not allowed to come into my room.

“When my husband was transferred to New York for work in July 2007 we had a chance to speak to a gynaecologist for a second opinion and he said I needed another emergency surgery to remove my sutures. I have not had any pain since then.”

Mrs Smith said she discovered a second growth on her thigh when she and her family returned from New York.

“I had another growth on my thigh followed by my latest growth between my cheek and gum, both were removed in June this year but luckily it did not spread because they were detected early,” she said.

“It’s very important to take loved ones for screening and be there for them because you don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow.”

Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola

Feedback:  salote.qalubau@fijisun.com.fj

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