Early De­tec­tion Gives Lave­nia A New Life

Fiji Sun - - Pinktober - ARISHMA DEVI-NARAYAN SUVA Edited by Mo­hammed Ali Feed­back: arishma.narayan@fi­jisun.com.fj

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.

For some­one to be di­ag­nosed with cancer it was like a death sen­tence Lave­nia Hill Vakacegu Cancer sur­vivor

Photo: Jone Lu­ven­i­toga

Cancer sur­vivor Lave­nia Hill Vakacegu at her home in Wailoku on Septem­ber 25, 2017.

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