Cancer survivor tells her tale of hope, overcoming odds

Vosita Taleniwesi at her home in Nausori on Wednesday, September 05, 2018. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

HOW long can one keep a secret, especially from their own family?

For Vosita Taleniwesi, her greatest fear was sharing her secret with her family, and it took her 20 years before finally breaking down to reveal the news moments before she underwent surgery.

In 1997, three days after giving birth to her youngest daughter, the mother of three was informed she had breast cancer.

“I just gave birth and it was very hard for me because my husband, Josaia Taleniwesi was working and was out most of the time. “It was just me and my children and I always looked after my children. After I was diagnosed three days after giving birth, it was like death was just there, I could picture it,” she said.

She refused to believe she had cancer even though medical results proved that she was diagnosed with the disease.

Further tests in 2007 confirmed, yet she refused to inform her own family.

“I couldn’t tell anybody even my husband because who will look after my children and who will love my children the way I love them and the biblical teaching I was brought up with. I wouldn’t believe that any other woman can take my place for my children.

“From then I just asked God ‘who will look after my family?’. “I kept on praying and I had this faith in God that God will heal me and I kept on going, and in 2017, after 20 years, the lump started to get big then I decided to tell my children that I would go for operation.

“I had this faith with God and I told him that I’ll serve you wholeheartedly and I’ll make sure that I make my children serve you too,” she said in an emotional interview. Finally, she had the courage to inform her family and felt a sense of relief from the support received. “My husband and my children couldn’t take it because I was the strongest one in the house.

“New Year’s Eve this year I told them that I would be having this operation whether you like it or not or if your dad doesn’t like it I don’t care, this is my life.”

“If God can look after me for 20 years, why can’t he give me another 20 years because now what I am looking forward to is carrying my grandchildren.

“I had the operation on February 5 this year and I am so thankful for the Fiji Cancer Society because all the time I had been going for checkup and for my blood test — I had four sets of chemo — and all that time the society was providing for me.

“One month after my four sets of chemo this year I went back for checkup and I’ve been told that I have been free of cancer now.”

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