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Cancer patient pleads for chance to fight disease

A cancer patient at Addington Hospital is desperately waiting for radio therapy treatment nearly three months after being diagnosed.

MICHELLE Steele, has only one wish, and that is to receive radio therapy treatment so she might have a chance to fight for her life.

Michelle was an active working 51-year-old just a few months ago but in March she started suffering abdominal and pelvic pain. In March this year, she was referred to Addington Hospital by her doctor after pain in the lower cervix became unmanageable. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer of the cervix after undergoing tests and biopsies in May.

According to Michelle, doctors explained that she needed radio therapy to contain the cancer and thereafter would possibly need chemotherapy. However, since May Michelle has been given various excuses and sent for a number of blood tests and blood thinning injections by the doctors and has not received the radio therapy treatments she so desperately needs.

This week her hopes were raised when she was seen by a doctor ahead of her appointment for a vein scan at Addington Hospital. The doctor told her she would be given a date to start a 10-day radio therapy course at lbert Luthuli Hospital. However, after the vein scan was cancelled because there was no dye for the scan machine, she returned to see the doctor, but was seen by a different doctor on duty. “He gave me a date to return to Addington on 1 August for the scan and said I should return on 21 August where they will discuss the readio therapy. The doctor I had seen just hours before told me it was really important for me to receive the radio therapy. He said they might give me a date for the next day. I was thinking thank heaven I’m going to receive treatment to fight this disease, but then my hopes were dashed once again when the other doctor told me to come back on 21 August to discuss radio therapy treatment,” she said.

The mother of three who until last week was working says she was already told the pros and cons of radio therapy and doesn’t understand why she’s sitting at home and not receiving the treatment she needs. “I want the radio therapy to contain the cancer and reduce the masses which will result in less pain for me and a chance to fight the disease,” she said.

Michelle’s son Brenden, quit his job to take care of his mother. “I’m afraid of my mum dying because of the hospital not helping us fast enough. All I seem to do is run up and down taking her to Addington Hospital and we leave with some medication and no results because she hasn’t even started any treatment. It’ has been more than two months. She needs a fighting chance,” said the desperate son.

Michelle also has a problem with her clotted iliac vein, which doctors have also been trying to treat since May. She was told that it was life threatening as it could cause a stroke or heart attack but other than injections for thinning her blood, she has received no further treatment.

“Its horrible to be at the mercy of the system. If you don’t have medical aid in this country you are stuffed,” she said sadly, adding, “the doctors and nurses are are so professional, good and helpful but they they don’t have the equipment. I know there is backlog with the radio therapy but my iliac vein wasn’t sorted out either.”

“Each day I take is prolonging my suffering and this disease is eating at me. I have to live off these painkillers but I want more, I want a chance to fight because the cancer in my body is not on pause, it is spreading.”

She has steadily lost weight and over the last two months has dropped more than 10kg.

“I am fighting for my life, I want to live but the delays at Addington Hospital will surely cause me to eventually be riddled with cancer. Who will explain to my children? It’s five months down the road and nothing has been done to move forward,” she said.

KZN Health Department Spokesman, Desmond Motha said he was looking into Michelle Steele’s case, however he was not able to respond to Berea Mail at the time of going to press.

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  1. Please please help her !!!!Shes a special person and we want her to have a second chance.We are praying

  2. Please help Michelle, I could tell you her life story, but it would not be of help, all I am saying is SAVE Michelle!

  3. Please help my niece. And thank you for your time you will be taking reading this

  4. Please save Michelle’s life for her sake and her kid’s. No deserves to go through so much pain in life

  5. This saddens me so much. My family and I are praying for you Michelle that God will make a way. If we all send the same prayer I know God is a faithful God. He said I will never leave you nor forsake you. And we claim that promise for Michelle today. In Jesus name. Believe and so shall it be.

  6. This is so sad, praying for you Michelle, we serve an awesome God. God is faithful Michelle.

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