Cancer survivor shares her story

THINKING that traditional medicine was better than medical treatment was one of the biggest mistake Kenona Rokotubuna Natuke made in her life.

Now a proud survivor of breast cancer, the woman from Mokoisa Village in Kadavu has a story to tell and is a living testimony to other Fijian women out there that early detection is the best cancer remedy.

Kenona was one of the few cancer survivors who shared her story at the World Cancer Day in Suva last week.

“I had a small lump in my breast at beginning of 2013 … I took it to four different women hoping to be relieved but to no avail,” Kenona shared to medical stakeholders at the launch.

“I didn’t have any pain at all, but I only experience coldness all over my body from time to time.

“Towards the end of 2013, I had a lot of health issues — shortage of breath, high blood pressure and pain on my left arm as well as my back.

I visited Mokani Health Centre for at least three times concerning the lump I had. All the time, I went I was only given amoxylene.”

For one whole year, Kenona kept this lump with her, hoping the Fijian medicine is better than the medical treatment, which she revealed was her greatest mistake.

At the beginning of 2014, she had no other time to waste and headed straight for the Breast Cancer Unit in Suva — with the belief that the Holy Spirit had urged her to.

A doctor from the Mokani Health Centre had also advised her to agree to all the medical procedures she would have to undergo if she was found to have breast cancer.

A visit to the breast clinic a few weeks later, she was advised that she had second stage breast cancer.

“As soon as I heard cancer, I remembered what the doctor from Mokani told me and I went straight into theatre the next day for operation.

“I did not have any cancer test but the evidence was with me — the lump I had and also the nipple had gone inside.

“I had mastectomy on Wednesday February 5, 2014 and was discharged on Friday 7 and I was readmitted on Monday night concerning a blockage connecting to my injury.”

Kenona’s chemotherapy was for four months which included being on a strict diet —- eating a lot of vegetables, greens especially the raw ones and fruits, no meat and a little bit of fish, drink a lot of water and do a lot of exercise.

After seven months, her last oncology was carried out and from that time until today, she has not had any other health complications.

Kenona also thanked God for allowing her to go through such an experience in order to relate to other women and to motivate other women to always make the right decision.

Early detection, according to Kenona is the best option and as she shared among other medical professionals and cancer survivors last week that Dr JoseseTuragava — a consultant surgeon with the CWMH told her that “If you walk to hospital for treatment, you will walk back home, if you were carried to hospital, you will be carried back home.”

Now a strong advocate, Kenona has urged all the women out there to get tested for cancer and other health-related issues.

More Stories