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Early Detection Gives Lavenia A New Life

Her demise was the first thing that came into Lavenia Hill Vakacegu’s mind when she was informed that she had cancer. In 2014, the 46-year-old was told that she had
27 Sep 2017 11:00
Early Detection Gives Lavenia A New Life
Cancer survivor Lavenia Hill Vakacegu at her home in Wailoku. Photo:Jone Luvenitoga

Her demise was the first thing that came into Lavenia Hill Vakacegu’s mind when she was informed that she had cancer.

In 2014, the 46-year-old was told that she had breast cancer after her test results turned positive.

She thought she would not even live long to see her children’s graduation and this worried her deeply.

Fortunately, it was an early detection that she gave her a new life where she not only saw her two sons graduate in 2015 but also her daughter get married this year.

She now awaits the graduation of her fourth son who is currently studying abroad.

She underwent an operation  at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital soon after she found out she had stage one breast cancer. After the operation she also had four chemotherapies.

“I did not think I would live to see these long years after I was told I had cancer but then I realised it was my early detection that saved me,” Ms Vakacegu said.

Ms Vakacegu reacted quickly to the lump on her breast which had turned painful for her.

“When I felt the lump I went to the Health Centre in Tamavua from where I was referred to the CWM Hospital for further tests which proved positive,” she said.

“For someone to be diagnosed with cancer it was like a death sentence.

“It has been four years since that trauma passed and I am a cancer survivor living with my children and now waiting to even see my grandchildren,” Ms Vakacegu said happily.

But what caused her great sadness were the many lives lost to cancer, some of whom she had been close to who could have been in her survivor group.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of them and I greatly feel for their families, it must be very tough.”

For young people, Ms Vakacegu has only advice and that would be to know their bodies, and the state of their health and if there were any unusual changes to consult a doctor.

“Early detection can save your life,” she said.

Ms Vakacegu now resides at her home with her children in Tamavua Suva, and has devoted her time in God’s service.

She also visits hospitals on Fridays to meet patients and share her story with them.

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