Editorial comment – Part of the cancer fight

Cervical cancer survivor Nanise Marama (right) with her husband Poasa Yabakidrau and 2-year-old daughter Elenoa Biutukana at the Bushells Fiji's Biggest Morning Tea in Suva. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

THERE are moments in time when we get a jolt of reality. Not all is rosy. There are definitely positive moments that will lift our spirits, and there are also the nagging moments that tug at the heartstrings, keeping our feet firmly on the ground sometimes.

Cancer survivor, Nanise Marama yesterday acknowledged organisations that financially support the Fiji Cancer Society.

She spoke about initiatives that raised the profile of those suffering from cancer, and embraced awareness and assistance.

Ms Marama was diagnosed with stage 3B cervical cancer in 2016, when she was seven months pregnant with her now two-year-old daughter, Elenoa Buitukana.

She spoke about how she was able to overcome her battle against cancer through the help and support of the Society.

What should have been a routine check at the hospital during her pregnancy turned out to be a shocker for her and her family.

She was told she had cancer.

She didn’t ask what type of cancer she had then. Just being told she had cancer came with the notion that she was going to die, she remembers.

That’s when her husband, Poasa Yabakidrau and their four children became her source of strength.

“We didn’t know anything about the Fiji Cancer Society until I got sick. I never dreamt that I would be here carrying my very healthy baby and sharing my story to help other women who are also fighting cancer,” she said.

The support of many organisations has helped the Society look after the welfare of cancer patients.

Sometimes when we are left staring at a blank wall, there are moments in time that will serve as motivation for us to pick up the pieces and move on.

Unfortunately many people see cancer in any form as a killer.

There is a stigma attached to it. It screams “death”. It inches out fear and an overwhelming sense of helplessness.

That is the harsh reality.

But should that be the set notion or line of thought? Should it be how we look at cancer in all its forms?

People like Ms Marama are proof that life is full of interesting twists and turns.

When all else appears to be lost, they serve as very strong reminders of the tenacity and resilience of the human spirit, and mind.

Sometimes in our moments of insecurity, fear and uncertainty will push us into a corner.

The challenge though is to pick up the pieces, remain focused and believe there is hope of better days.

That isn’t an easy proposition though. This is when support can move mountains so to speak. Early detection is very important.

Acknowledgement is due to all those living with cancer, their family and friends and all those who are supporting their fight.

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