Linzel’s Journey with Cancer
Linzel Cloete (30) from Koingnaas in Namaqualand was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 26 and had to remove both her breasts. By now, the cancer is spread to her lungs. She was recently diagnosed with stage 4-cancer. The forecast is that she only has a few months left to live. For now, she is on treatment to fight this cancer.
It is Linzel’s dream to write and publish a book about herself to inspire others fighting the same battle. Linzel’s mother died to double pneumonia when Linzel was only 11 months old and Linzel always feared that she will die the same way. Doctors suspect that her mother also had cancer. Linzel had to grow up between her mother’s grandma and aunt. Since her year of grade 11 Linzel was not an active person. She always felt tired. Doctors felt it was depression, low blood pressure, and a whole lot of diagnoses which did not make sense to her. At the age of 26 while she was working at a Children’s Home, she still felt weak. She accepted that she was burnt out because of stress and was not surprised one day when she had a blackout. She went to every doctor in Namaqualand and each of them told her a different story.
One of them diagnosed her with depression. One morning she woke with her legs not moving. Doctors yet again saw it as depression. During this time her nipples started bleeding. She was then admitted to Groote Schuur Hospital where she was only treated for the pain. One of the doctors believed it is all in her head. A night nurse convinced the doctor that she had to clean Linzel the whole night because she was bleeding, and she was then sent for a mammogram. There was so much swelling and blood that they could not see anything and she had to go for a sonar. The swelling was in both her breasts and according to the doctors it has been swelling for the past 11 years in her breasts.
For Linzel it was a relief to know what was happening to her for all those years, but this relief did not last. She then came to know how serious this diagnosis is. For Linzel, the worst was when she was told that her breasts had to be removed. The one part of her body she really liked. She had to lose what made her feel like a woman. Not only her breasts but also her dream of having kids. If it happens that she falls pregnant, it would worsen her illness.Linzel always shares her pain on her page A Life With Cancer. The good and the bad. How she cannot sleep at night because of the pain. Being hungry but not everything she has at home is what her body wants and there is also no money to buy any. Having blackouts, laying on the cold floor and not knowing what is happening around her. Getting her accounts from doctors and having to make a plan to pay them because her health depends on it. Pain that no mdication can take away. Crying herself to sleep because she has no control over what she is going through. This is the daily struggles of Linzel.
Linzel realises that she does not have long to live, but she believes that she will be cured by a miracle. The faith of this woman is immeasurable. Linzel never believed that she will ever find love, but got married recently. She wanted to be a beautiful bride to her husband before anything bad happens to her.