Leaving a doctor’s appointment with a diagnosis is a stressful ordeal one could go through; more especially when the doctors tell you that you have a chronic disease and less than a year to live. The pain of knowing you have limited time on earth can cause confusion and depression within people, and most give up on themselves.
Wife and mother of one, Letheni Malique Dlamini (40) faced a challenge that forced her to change her lifestyle for the better. Eight months after giving birth to her son in 2009, the doctors told her that she had stage 4 of cervical cancer.
The news came as a shock to her because she had annual check-ups that always came back with negative results. She said that the results broke her and made her question God and his plans for her, after realizing that her dreams of dressing someone in pink were shattered.
The disbelief of the illness pushed her into severe depression, which she was later admitted to hospital for 21 days. It took her quite some time to come to terms with the fact that she had cancer, but eventually decided to accept the diagnosis and to change her way of living.
“When the results came back positive, I was shocked because I didn’t understand how the doctors could have missed the cancer all these years. It took me a very long time to finally accept that I had cancer. I was hurt due to the fact that I felt that stage 4 was a death toll,” said the brave mother.
The most unbearable moment was that she started experiencing a sleeping disorder since she began to feel the cancer in her body. She found comfort in praying to God for strength to fight the chronic disease. The doctors gave her an ultimatum of whether she wanted her womb removed or chemotherapy.
She then made a choice and started her chemo, although her doctor didn’t approve of it since he believed it may not work due to the stage its in. After undergoing chemo, the results she received were a shock to her as the medication did not work, the cancer had spread even more. She was informed that her kidneys were infected during the chemo. She became sick and had to wear diapers as she could not control herself.
“Things got worse than before. I just gave up on myself. Even though the chemo didn’t work, I still said no to my womb being removed. At this point I began to feel like everything in my body was damaged and that I was going to die,” said Dlamini.
In 2017 she finally gave in to her womb being removed. However, the doctors failed to complete the operation. According to her, none of them knew how and why the operation was unsuccessful. She believes that God didn’t want her to go through with operation.
During her doctor’s appointment in October 2018, she returned home with more bad news. She was diagnosed with blood cancer which was in its final stage and she was told that she only had less than a year to live (now two months). Even though things were worse, she pushed herself to fight for her life.
The resilient Dlamini focused on the positive side of her life, which was her family. She then enrolled herself for a Masters Qualification and has recently graduated for it. On life’s future prospects, this is what she said: “I won’t let death defeat me, I realized that cancer is not a death sentence. I know that with God all things are possible. I will live my life like every other normal person but with a healthier lifestyle.”
Dlamini is advising people from all walks of life to test for chronic diseases so that it gets detected and treated at an early stage, she adds that eating healthy is also vital. She encourages people to pray for better lives and also to have faith in God. The most crucial thing she advises is that one should accept their diagnosis in order to move forward and heal.