Awareness is the first step

SHE may have gone through a lot of obstacles and turmoil when she began to feel that her life had changed after being first diagnosed with diabetes upon visiting a hospital in Sydney three years ago.

Many years ago, Wati Tabuyaqona was travelling around the world engaging in businesses and taking time out to visit family members abroad and little did she know that the pains she had been experiencing during her flights were somehow related to colon cancer, which was only made known to her when she was rushed to the CWM Hospital four months ago.

But her determination and belief in God combined with the great care of medical professionals changed the life of the 48-year-old who stood as a living testimony today.

This is the story of the Moce, Lau woman who is willing to share her life’s story as an inspiration and could be of assistance to many women out there who may have a fear of visiting the hospital or getting a check-up.

Going into the CWMH some four months ago with a low haemoglobin count of 2.1 compared with the normal adult haemoglobin count of 12, the doctors decided to do other tests as to where the haemoglobin may have gone to.

Wati felt her legs were both numb and upon blood pressure being taken and tested, it was confirmed she had colon cancer.

A medical news website explains that colon cancer is not necessarily the same as rectal cancer, but they often occur together in what is called colorectal cancer.

Rectal cancer originates in the rectum, which is the last several inches of the large intestine, closest to the anus

After vigorous scans, it was discovered that the cancer had even gone to her liver.

“It was hard for me to accept it, mind you I had this pain travelling overseas and to so many countries,” Wati shared.

“I hit the bottle when the pains were worse and I did this because when I knocked out, I couldn’t feel anymore pain.

“The doctors told me the cancer had been with me for three years, it was hard to accept it and I had never thought that I would go through this and I thought to myself what am I going to do.”

When Wati was told of the news, she was very stubborn and this even went to the extent of refusing nurses assistance and she wouldn’t even want anyone to go near her.

“I felt I had this feeling because I did not accept this cancer.

“I could not explain it and my going to the toilet was like sit for five minutes, come back, two minutes on the bed and I would want to go back.

“It was one night that I just spoke to God, ‘God I know you are there and if you are, why am I going through this? Why this pain? Why are you punishing me? What have I done very wrong that I deserve this pain?’ I would just cry and cry then I fell asleep.”

Wati woke up the next morning a changed person altogether even without a dream or a vision.

She shared that she had this humility with her and she started to say thank you to the nurses, started to have this softness in her heart and it was this source of peace that was her source of strength all throughout her cancer treatment.

She said the peace she received that day overcame the pain she had and she did not have to worry about death and even gave her the sense of freedom while undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

“Sometimes before I go to sleep, I would say, ‘God if you are going to take me tonight, thank you so much, you are going to take me to your paradise’.”

While she is yet to complete another two stages of chemotherapy, Wati believes she has a little piece of advice to offer to people out there who always think of visiting the hospital as a frightening experience.

“And my advice to women out there — hospital is the best place for us because this is the only place that you will find proven treatment, this is the only place proven that it has the right treatment.

“Never be afraid, share … whether it’s with cancer or any other sickness.

“Because we are all going through a path regardless of your colour or your status we will all die one day,” she said.

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