Patricia Klein (38) and Hedwig Hoveka (50) have overcome breast cancer.
Klein who currently counsels cancer patients at the Katutura State Hospital and Windhoek Central Hospital discovered that she had cancer four years ago.
“Just by hearing the word ‘cancer’ it was a turn off for me. It felt as if it was just a death sentence. After I went through counseling, I accepted my condition. The difference between me and some cancer patients is acceptance. Some people do not accept. That is why they are defeated because of stress and anxiety,” she says.
Klein further says when the doctor told her that one of her breasts would be removed, she was very disappointed and did not want to go for the operation had it not been for the father of her three children who encouraged her.
“The first thing that came to my mind when I heard that I would lose one breast is that my man would not like me anymore. But nothing changed. He is more carrying than before,” adds Klein.
After the operation, she went for chemotherapy. Today, Klein is a strong woman.
Hoveka was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 after her mother; both grandmothers and two of her aunties had died from the disease.
“In our black community most people do not talk about cancer when the person is diagnosed with it. It becomes a secret even to family members,” emphasises Hoveka.
When Hoveka was diagnosed with cancer, it was hard for her to accept for the first six months but she had no choice apart from making peace with her condition.
“In this journey, I realised that depression is what kills cancer patients but I refused to be anxious and I could see the difference when my health became stable. I went for the operation and chemotherapy. Today, I am healthy, happy and strong,” adds Hoveka.
Both Klein and Hoveka emphasised that stress, depression alcohol, smoking and not eating healthily increase the danger of cancer.