Chris Hougaard – Cancer Stories of Hope #CANSA90
What is your current cancer diagnosis?
I am in remission. I had malignant melanoma.
How long have you been living with that cancer?
Since mid 2018.
How does living with cancer affect you in general in your day-to-day living?
It has no effect on my life due to the fact that I am a positive minded person. God the Almighty has granted me a positive mindset.
Is there a family history of cancer? Please elaborate if yes.
How have you or your loved ones been affected by you living with cancer?
Not much really. We sometimes discuss and I mention it only when I experience pain sometimes.
How has having cancer affected you during this time of COVID-19?
It has no impact on my life. Life goes on as usual.
What is your message to our government regarding the prevention, management and treatment of cancer?
Having cancer is not a death sentence. People must know that there is quality cancer treatment available for everyone, whether you have a medical aid or not and that Government (Public) hospitals provide equally good cancer treatment. In my specific case, I am a Grootte Schuur Hospital cancer patient, where my life was saved. There is also good quality aftercare available in Government hospitals.
What is your message to other people living with cancer?
A Cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence. The sooner you can accept that you have cancer the sooner you can start dealing with it. Do not despair if you do not have a medical aid because outside, there, there are good Government sponsored treatment centres.
Is pain a daily part of your life and how do you manage it?
It is a daily part of my life. The severity differs from time to time. I am on chronic pain medication. If the pain gets worse where even Morphine does not make any difference, help is only a telephone call away where I can contact Grootte Schuur Oncology for additional assistance.
How has CANSA supported you in your diagnosis?
I my case, I stay 7 hours drive away from Grootte Schuur Hospital. If I have to stay over and it is not serious, I can stay over at the local CANSA Eikehof Care Home where there are staff members that care for people like myself. During my 6 weeks Radiation Therapy treatment, I stayed over at CANSA Eikehof where they cared for my emotional well-being. They also transported me to Grootte Schuur Hospital every day and back. I will be forever be in CANSA’s debt. CANSA Eikehof is my home away from home.
I am also a member of CANSA Survivors Champions of Hope Facebook support group.