Breast Cancer is More Than October

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As we all know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but why should it only be in October? We are supposed to support victims of cancer every single day. Highlight their struggles every single day.

I myself have seen firsthand what cancer does to someone, their family, and their lives. And I have the world’s respect for someone who can come through cancer and still believe, live, and love.

I have known half a dozen women, close friends of mine, and my family who have all faced either breast cancer, brain cancer, or skin cancer.

And these remarkable women taught me that life is a blessing.

They are the ones that would give you hope on a bad day, pray for you just because they could, and hug and smile at you, because to them you matter. I learned through their lives and experiences not to regret what you do, how you do it, or whom you do it with.

I watched them as they got the news, how they accepted it all, how they started to transition into a new chapter in their lives. But mostly, I watched how they were the ones who comforted friends and family struggling to deal with the dreaded news.

They say that you undergo five stages of grief when hearing or dealing with trauma, death, or facing anything emotionally altering in life.

People with cancer seem to breeze through these stages, each one blending into the next, but for most ACCEPTANCE is the first step. They aren’t defeated by this acceptance, but once they have accepted the news, they kick into high gear in managing their time and lives, dealing with what’s most important and not sweating the small stuff. Living fully in every single minute they are given.

What a blessing that must be, to be so attuned with life, with time, and with God.

I am privileged to walk with these incredible women and still been able to walk life with them. I learn from them. I am privileged to have been able to be a nurse in oncology, to have been blessed to meet and partake in so many wonderful stories.

Cancer used to be deemed a “death sentence,” but not anymore. The almost daily remarkable advances in the medical field are so amazing, and a genius child is born every single day. If we trust and if we believe, then maybe one day a cure might be found—who knows what the future holds?

I dedicate every single day I work to remarkable women like my Aunty Mina, my friend Adri, and my family Marhiette and the life they live, the people they touch, and the gift that God gave them to still be here with me and those who love and adore them.

Buddy, my bear, and I walk the Woman’s Cancer Walk every single year in remembrance of those women who fought the good fight but lost, those remarkable women who fought and won, and for every other woman who has the strength to support each other.

May this Breast Cancer Awareness Month be even brighter than those before it.

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About Author

Leatitia Coetzee, RN
Leatitia Coetzee, RN

Leatitia Coetzee is a practicing nurse in Bloemfontein, South Africa. She is 30-years-old and fulfilling a lifelong dream of helping those in need and making a difference in the world … or at least the world she knows and lives in. She has always been a caring and passionate person, always wanting to help those less fortunate or in need. After graduating from high school, Leatitia went overseas, living and working in nursing homes in the UK and Scotland, and it was there she fell in love with nursing, knowing that she was in some small but significant way touching and changing the world.

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