October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month during which NGOs together with civil society take hands and unite behind the promotion of regular check-ups. In this Health For Mzansi podcast episode, we speak to Nthabiseng Gwarube (33) from Johannesburg, who battled and conquered this devastating disease.
Gwarube, who was a 28-year-old business analyst at the time, tells Health For Mzansi that she felt a lump in her breast, but did not think too much of it, considering her young age, cultural group, and no trace of family history with regard to cancer.
It was out of curiosity that Gwarube considered getting a mammogram while visiting her local pharmacy. At the time, she was told that she was too young to undergo the mammogram procedure, so she alternatively went for the ultrasound. She quickly learned that she had multiple lumps in her breast which seemed to be malignant.
A life-changing diagnosis
After undergoing a biopsy, Gwarube received the life-changing diagnosis that she had stage 3 A breast cancer. She admits that her immediate thoughts were that her life was ending as she had no education regarding breast cancer.
Life as she knew it changed, and she made a spontaneous decision to relocate from Johannesburg to Cape Town for the time being where she received incredible support from her mother.
Gwarube approached an oncologist who advised her on a treatment plan of chemotherapy, surgery, and radiology. In addition to this, Gwarube was given an injection to induce early menopause to help preserve her eggs as she still had hopes of falling pregnant one day.
In the podcast, Gwarube also discusses:
- The therapy she underwent and the strenuous implications on her body included a lack of energy and an increase in body pain (as chemotherapy attacks all the cells in the body, and no appetite.
- Her life now as a wife and mother of a two-year-old daughter.
- Focusing on the positive no matter how dark the journey might seem.
Listen to the full interview on the Health For Mzansi podcast:
Apple Podcasts: Click here to listen on any Apple device.
Google Podcasts: Click here to listen on Google Podcast.
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