Ntokozo Dludla – together we can beat it

4 year survivor

Diagnosed: 2007

Age: 40

I was born on Valentines Day, 1971. I am the mother of two, a girl of 12 and a boy who is turning 10 in May this year. I am also a widow. On top of being a single mom and having to bring up my children on my own I was also diagnosed with breast cancer at the relatively young age of 36.

I felt a lump in my right breast and went to see the doctor about it. At first the doctor told me that it could just be a fibroid, a non-cancerous and benign tumour, and nothing much – so I should not worry.

I felt very uncomfortable with his response so I decided to go again but this time I told the doctor that he must please do tests so that he and myself could both be sure that it really was just a fibroid. He was reluctant at first but I stood my ground and insisted that he send me for a mammogram.

The funny thing about the whole thing was that I never for a moment ever thought that it could be cancer! I mean, those kinds of things only happened to other people. But the results came back and I received the BIG SHOCK. I had breast cancer.

Even though my sister lived in Jo’burg and I was in Durban, I called her first because we are very close. She was very supportive and sensible. She found out more about the disease and about Bosom Buddies. She called Bosom Buddies and got a hold of Rebecca Musi, whom I then met, and that is how I joined Bosom Buddies and began participating in the meetings. Rebecca was just so supportive! I think her support meant so much more to me because she had actually gone through exactly the same ordeal. She is a Survivor and I looked up to her. I started to believe that I CAN BEAT this disease.

I knew that I was not going to allow this disease to consume me. I was a SURVIVOR!

With my sister’s support and advice I decided that moving to Jo’burg would be a good idea. I attended the breast clinic at Helen Joseph and my treatment doctor was Dr Carol-Ann Benn, who is such an incredible person with just so much passion.

Dr Benn’s team operated on me and today I am healthy and blessed to be able to have an opportunity to educate other mothers, women and sisters about this disease and be able to be a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel for them.

I now work for the Breast Health Foundation. I am a community educator (Sedibeng) and you are welcome to call me on 0860 BUDDIE (0860 283 343) or send me an email: ntokozo@mybreast.org.za. I don’t think any other job can be more fulfilling than knowing that you are able to inspire someone, and give them their life back, when you tell them that they are a survivor too!!

WE CAN BEAT IT!!

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