Pumeshni Potgieter – Cancer Stories of Hope #CANSA90
What is your current cancer diagnosis?
I think I’m in remission.
How long have you been living with that cancer?
I went in for a total abdominal hysterectomy and I was told a week later that the histology results came in and I was then diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian and endometrial cancer.
How does living with cancer affect you in general in your day-to-day living?
I was numb when the oncologist told me… my dad passed away 9 years ago from lung cancer. So in a way I expected to get it to… but it changed me…. I lost me … that bubbly happy person… I used to get up and do whatever I wanted on the weekends… now I go to work, come home take tablets, cook, eat and sleep… no interest in anything… I feel like I am fighting cancer alone.
Is there a family history of cancer? Please elaborate if yes.
My dad’s brother died of liver cancer. My dad died in 2012 of lung cancer, which went to the sternum, under arm, spine and brain.
How have you or your loved ones been affected by you living with cancer?
I have 3 sons…. Two are married and living in Durban and Port Elizabeth and my younger son was in Sydney Australia for 3 yrs from 8th June 2017. They never really expressed to me how they felt.
How has having cancer affected you during this time of COVID-19?
Didn’t affect me at all. My younger son is back home now and he does shopping.
What is your message to our government regarding the prevention, management and treatment of cancer?
They should give cancer patients compulsory benefits and gazette that businesses should take care of us and allow us time to grieve and to accept what has happened to us. They should pay us our normal salary for a year or two from a different additional sick leave. Visit companies to make sure they are carrying out these protocols. Currently government should fine companies for having cancer patients being forced to work from the office when they can work from home.
What is your message to other people living with cancer?
Don’t take life for granted. Don’t let anyone bring you down. It helps to talk to someone who cares like CANSA.
Is pain a daily part of your life and how do you manage it?
Yes. I’m constantly in pain. I take about 9 tablets a day.
How has CANSA supported you in your diagnosis?
I’m on the CANSA Survivors – Champions of Hope Facebook Support Group and shared my story and applauded those who were victorious.