Naisua: There is nothing to fear

FOR six months retired nurse Sikiti Fipe Naisua lived with a deep dark secret.

A lump was slowly growing in her right breast and although it frightened her, the 66-year-old refused to acknowledge its potential to be life threatening.

She said she did not share the news with her family because the thought of leaving her four children and 13 grandchildren behind was hard to bear.

Speaking of her ordeal, Mrs Naisua said she was in denial.

“I felt the lump and I was just so scared,” she said. “In my experience when we feel a lump like that we know that it is cancer. I’ve read so many bad things about cancer and especially breast cancer and what it does to women so I didn’t want to address it immediately. I spent months worrying and living in fear. It bothered me so much and I couldn’t tell anyone.”

She said after a tumultuous several months, she finally came clean to her daughter Salote Naisua Bali, who works at a resort in Sigatoka.

“I couldn’t do it alone anymore,” Mrs Naisua said.

“So I told myself that this could mean life or death and I needed to let my family know.

“I spoke to my daughter and told her that she had to contact someone at the Fiji Cancer Society.

“Immediately she knew something was wrong. I told her I might ha¬≠ve breast cancer and that I needed to get a test done.”

The Kabara, Lau, native said they went to a private doctor in Nadi, who at the sight of Mrs Naisua’s breast knew that she had a lump.

“We went to the Lautoka Hospital’s Oncology Unit and they carried out some tests. One month later, they confirmed I had cancer.”

She was advised that she needed immediate treatment, but that would come after six weeks.

“My daughter said six weeks was too long. We couldn’t wait for the cancer to spread. They said I would need to have my right breast removed and I was willing to do anything,” Mrs Naisua said.

“I just wanted that lump out of me.”

Her daughter said getting a second opinion was her priority after the visit to the Lautoka Hospital.

“Her wish now was to get the surgery done sooner so I decided to look for other alternate options so mum could have an earlier surgery,” Mrs Bali said.

“I contacted a nephew at the Suva Private Hospital who suggested I take her over for a second opinion.

“The doctor saw the seriousness of mum’s condition and arranged for urgent surgery, which was done the following week.

“During this time we were so blessed to have the support of our family members who were there to support us during mum’s admission at the hospital.

“I saw the difference in mum because she was relieved the surgery had been done. She was happier and gone was the sad look she had over the festive season and earlier this year.

“Mum now has her regular check-ups at Lautoka following her surgery and wishes to encourage everyone to have regular check-ups for early detection and awareness.”

The retired nurse says life is much better now that she’s on the road to recovery.

“I just want to tell every woman reading my story they should not let fear get in the way of their health,” Mrs Naisua said.

“If they even suspect they could have a lump they should visit their nearest doctor immediately. Fear is not worth their life.”

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