VASEMACA Fong had a totally different view of the world when she was informed of a grade two cancer on her right breast in late 2008.
She could only weep and wonder of what life would be for her five children who were at their prime ages at that time.
Mrs Fong, a breast cancer survivor who now lives in Labasa, said she first discovered the lump 16 years ago in Suva but was informed by the doctors upon her medical visit that it was nothing to worry about.
"It was like a size of a pea when I first discovered it but when it was removed in March 2009, it was already like a size of a golf ball," she said.
"I had my operation on March 26 in 2009 and this was my birthday. The doctor saw my medical form and said for me not to worry because he was going to give me the best birthday present ever and that was the gift of life.
"I did survive the killer disease and now I am enjoying life to the fullest with my children and supportive husband." Mrs Fong said she had another breast reconstruction surgery two months ago at the Labasa Hospital and was successfully completed.
"I survived because of my faith in God and the support from the husband and children. I followed a strict diet of eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. Red meat was totally out of my diet." Mrs Fong said it was only proper for people to come out in the open and discuss their health status.
* The Fiji Times has been a long-time supporter of the Pinktober campaign to raise awareness on cancer. Today, we start our month-long campaign where we will bring inspirational stories of survival, encouragement and aspirations to help people fight this killer disease.