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Katlehong cancer survivor pleased for another chance at life

“This was a difficult time for me. I lost the support structure, and most of my friends disappeared.”

Former Katlehong resident Itumeleng Morole (34) from Ext 1 Moleleki claimed her place as a cancer survivor after persevering through a devastating period.

Morole said she took one day at a time and was grateful to be cancer-free after having chemotherapy and radiation treatment at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital (CHBH) between May and April.

She was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2022. Before the hospital confirmed her condition, she suffered symptoms like back pain and constipation.

She battled to get medical attention at Thelle Mogoerane Regional Hospital (TMRH), which was close and convenient for her.

Initially, TMRH said they would admit her on June 4, 2022. However, the date was postponed to September before it was postponed again to this January.

At the time, she thought she had piles. She struggled to walk and sit and, over time, had challenges using the restroom. These symptoms continued until she got help at CHBH, and they prioritised her condition.

Morole said she endured unbearable pain because the recovery period was more painful than the operation.

“This was a difficult time for me. I lost the support structure, and most of my friends disappeared. I only had two friends who would regularly check on me,” said Morole.

She said it was difficult to see people on the same treatment as her die.

“What was on my mind was that I am next. My prayer changed from me getting better to praying to God to take me because the pain was unbearable. I did not want to get better.”

Picking up pieces

The 34-year-old survivor said when she returned from her treatment, she took time to recover before she went job hunting.

“Remember, I was not doing anything that benefited me financially. My goal was to have my own kasi food restaurant in the township. After getting a job, I worked for two months and saved money to start a kota business,” Morole said.

“Luckily, before being diagnosed, I had already bought equipment, so I just needed to buy ingredients and start operating.”

She said she was fortunate to have friends like Palesa Mosikili, Matshidiso Mothukwa and the We are Father We are Parents group Tumelo Mokwena and Solomon Mondlane, as well as her former colleagues, Onica Makau and Petunia Mabaso, who supported her throughout.

“I am happy to have survived even though there are challenges. At first, it was a bit challenging, but now that I have accepted, I am good,” Morole said.

She said she was unsure about continuing her studies – she was doing paralegal law before her diagnosis.

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