Wilma Kok het onlangs ‘n paadjie met borskanker gestap. Sy gee waardevolle raad oor haar ervaring met borskanker en hoe sy die hele proses hanteer het.
(Wilma Kok was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She gives valuable advice about her journey on the path to recovery.)
Diagnosis and Treatment
My name is Wilma Kok, I’m 47 years old. I have two children, my daughter is pregnant (she’s due on the 27th), and she’s 23, my son is 21 and I’ve been married for 28 years. Cancer is the last thing anyone thinks of in this rushed lifestyle we lead and when you do, you think it’s your neighbour or the old lady across the road that would get cancer, or someone that’s 70 or 80 years old. I got up one morning this year and fell back onto the bed and when I put my hand on my chest, I felt a lump. I actually joked about it with my husband and said, “You know, I think I bumped myself somewhere along the line,” because it was strange that I had a lump where the previous week there wasn’t one. I do believe that you should do a self-exam regularly.
I went to the doctor the following week because the lump was getting bigger and he told me he wasn’t even going to try to give me a diagnosis and that I should just go straight to a specialist. The specialist took one look and said a biopsy would have to be done. A week later I was called in and told that I had breast cancer.
Reaction to the diagnosis
It was such an enormous shock because you don’t get the chance to take it all in and realise what’s happening. The first thing that went through my mind is that it was a death sentence hanging over my head. The second thing was that you always hear people talk about the financial side of it, I’m going to have so many expenses and how will I be able to afford it. Getting sick and having all these medical expenses is not something you plan for. I took a day to think carefully about it all, because the choice was either having surgery or you take your time and live with it. Unfortunately I had an aggressive form of cancer. From the time that it was discovered to the time that it was removed was a period of about two weeks and it had grown almost 3 centimetres. I decided that I would have it removed.
When the shock had completely sunk in, my husband said, “You know, we have actually made provision for this. We have a policy somewhere, maybe we should have a look.” It’s actually quite a sensitive topic because you don’t want to tell other people about what has just happened to you. It’s almost like epilepsy, you don’t want to talk about it. When I let it sink in properly I decided to take the chance; I would contact the relevant people about my policy and find out how to go about the process from that point on.