Soweto's Budding Patient Advocate: Itumeleng Letoaba
Editor's Note: Patient's account quoted verbatim
"I went to my nearest clinic after I found after I 've found a lump in my left breast and then I was refered to breast Chris Hani Bara.
Firstly I was pulpated and then went for an FNA test and then I was sent for MMG* and then after three weeks I was sent for co-biopsy* and after 6 weeks I got my results and I was positive.
I have managed to accept have got lubinar carsinoma* (breast cancer) and then I was told to go for chemotherapy to reduce my lump which was at the third stage. I took 6 circles of chemo and I was sick for 6 months.
I went for operation in January. I did a lumpactomy* and then I came back for another operation and then I did radiation for 18 days and it was during the 2010 World Cup.
Then I had to gain back my weight, strength and myself again. Here I am today. I am Alive and Kicking. Thanks to my moto* "A quiter never wins but a winner never quits".
I was diagnosed on the 15th of July 2009 and I was 31 years old and I have an 8 year old boy who kept my spirit going.
I finished my chemo on 4th December. Operated on the 9th of January 2010 and my second operation was the 10th of February 2010.
Now I have been trained as a counsillor* for newly diagnosed patients at Chris Hani Bara. Now I am 33yrs and I am a Survivor S.A" - end.
* Lobular carcinoma - stage 3
* MMG? - Probably imaging
Editor's note: Itumeleng is a feisty soul committed to fighting breast cancer in her native Soweto. She asked to work with BreastSens while still in active treatment. "Itu" is an awesome inspirational young lady who recently completed a counselling course organized by BreastSens and facilitated and sponsored by People Living With Cancer (PLWC).
She and four other survivors are the first batch of professionally trained patient counsellors and BreastSens is pleased to have former Breast Unit patients assisting the newly diagnosed to cope.
BreastSens is committed to giving medically uninsured African women patients a voice and is committed to helping them understand their diagnosis, disease management and survivorship monitoring. Itumeleng has found her eloquent voice and she is using it effectively to promote awareness among her people.