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Family support vital for the fight

Kalesi Mele
Sunday, October 22, 2017

WORKING at one of the prominent hotels in the country, Vika Fong Toy loved her job.

She was a stickler for routine, always making sure she checked off whatever she had to do for the day.

Her life took a different turn last year when severe back and leg pains started to disrupt her work schedule.

While she insisted she could continue with her work, her employers thought it best she get a medical check-up overseas.

Mrs Vika Fong Toy travelled to New Zealand where specialists told her she had renal cancer.

At first, she was unbelieving of the news, reflecting that she was a healthy 46-year-old and the doctor was lying.

"I said excuse me, I am very healthy woman," she said. "How can you tell me I have cancer?

"I ranted and raved. I was furious and I didn't let the doctor speak because I had my hand up as if to silence him."

Recalling how she felt back then, Mrs Vika Fong Toy said: "I fell into a black hole, really. I understood what it meant when people said time stood still because that day it did for me."

Prior to the trip, Mrs Fong Toy and her husband had made plans for the future, buying a farm and setting another long-term goal as a couple.

The doctor's diagnosis meant they had to backtrack a bit because the doctor had said the cancer was too far gone and she had only a year to live.

Now a year after her surgery, she said having the support of her family and friends was what saw her through.

"That and also following a strict diet.

"I remember sending emails to my three children last year. This was about my FNPF, insurance and what to do with their father when I was gone. I knew it would be difficult for him to cope, only for a little while off course.

"They never did respond to that email. They had faith through it all and I am grateful for that.

"It is important to surround yourself with family and friends in situations like that. Their encouragement really does help you heal, and cope with the situation."

Several weeks back, Mrs Vika Fong Toy spoke in front of a group of survivors and newly diagnosed cancer patients, relaying the story of her journey. She said the support of loved ones ensured no one fought cancer alone.

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