Akhona Lusawana – Cancer Stories of Hope #CANSA90
What is your current cancer diagnosis?
How long have you been living with that cancer?
How does living with cancer affect you in general in your day-to-day living?
At first it was difficult because some people don’t know what cancer is and whenever I disclosed my status to them they would say soon I will be dead. I was always sick and taking painkillers every day.
Is there a family history of cancer? Please elaborate if yes.
No, I was the first person to have cancer in my family.
How have you or your loved ones been affected by you living with cancer?
They were so scared that I would die, but above all they were so supportive and they made sure that I take my medications all the time.
How has having cancer affected you during this time of COVID-19?
I was so scared, because for a person with other chronic diseases it was easy to get COVID.
What is your message to our government regarding the prevention, management and treatment of cancer?
If the government could provide transport for cancer patients to go to the hospitals and get their treatment, because some people can’t afford the transport money to go to the hospitals and they end up sitting at home not getting treatment and die. Also if they can provide the hospitals with more machines to treat cancer. In public hospitals patients end up going home without receiving the treatment, because they have exceeded the daily limit.
What is your message to other people living with cancer?
Cancer is not a death sentence, it can be cured. All you need to do is be positive, take your medication and live for tomorrow.
Is pain a daily part of your life and how do you manage it?
Yes, since I was diagnosed I have been suffering from headaches and after the radiation I’ve been experiencing cramps on the side that had the lump.
How has CANSA supported you in your diagnosis?
CANSA made a big difference and helped me understand more about cancer. I would like to volunteer and also do the awareness campaigns, especially where I live because 90% of the community know nothing about cancer. Even at the clinic there are no posters that teach people about cancer.