NATION

Survivor Calls For Regular Health Checks

Make a commitment to undergo a monthly medical examination and know your body well. That is the message from breast cancer sur­vivor Aisa Bi of Tuatua, Labasa to all women
16 Oct 2018 11:00
Survivor Calls For Regular Health Checks
Breast cancer survivor Aisa Bi (middle) with daughter (from left) Aqeelah Bano carrying Anaira Mani (granddaughter) and Ziyah Mohammed in Tuatua Labasa on October 12, 2018. Photo: Nacanieli Tuilevuka

Make a commitment to undergo a monthly medical examination and know your body well.

That is the message from breast cancer sur­vivor Aisa Bi of Tuatua, Labasa to all women and men too.

“Women must go for your mammogram and papsmear tests,” Ms Bi said.

“To men, if you feel or find anything unu­sual, go and get it checked. Don’t wait until it’s too late.”

For her, there was no lump, which is often a telltale sign to women that they got breast cancer. But, Ms Bi felt a troubling pain in her right breast towards the end of 2014.

Now her greatest fear was sharing this in­formation with her family. It took the 51-year-old a while before finally breaking the news weeks before she underwent surgery.

In 2014, the mother of three was diagnosed with breast cancer at the Labasa Hospital.

She refused to believe she had cancer even though medically she was diagnosed with the disease. Knowing she had friends and rela­tives who have died from it, Ms Bi feared a similar fate.

Her siblings’ reactions were similar when she told them about her situation.

Like any other cancer survivor, Ms Bi’s jour­ney wasn’t easy either.

“The lump on my breast then was like a grain of rice. When I put on my clothes the pain I felt was as if I was going to die,” she said.

“Knowing I had cancer it felt like the whole world came crashing down on me. My hus­band supported me and asked if I wanted to go to the Nasese Medical Centre, in Suva for treatment and not to worry about the money.

“Thoughts that I would die and not be able to see my grandchildren crossed my mind.

“I requested the doctor and nurses if a close relative could stay with me those nights be­cause I was scared that I would die if I went to sleep. My husband was positive along the way and I am blessed to have him. He was by my side every moment he could get.

“I thank Allah for having him as my hus­band. The pain of cancer was unbearable for me,” she said.

Ms Bi is now a stage three breast cancer survivor. She needs chemotherapy treatment and another surgery because a lump is now growing on her left breast.

“I want to go to India for treatment. So my husband sold firewood and held other fund­raising activities to foot the cost of surgery, accommodation and travel,” Ms Bi said.

“We wrote to almost every organisation, but no one responded to our letter of request for assistance. I’ll be leaving next Thursday for India after receiving a confirmation letter from the India High Commission.

“This has been made possible through close families and friends support.” Ms Bi said it’s vital for men and women to go for regular health checks.

Edited by Percy Kean

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