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16 Responses to “”
  1. bern says:

    My mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2002. She was stage 4 when they finally found the Cancer. Initially she was told that she was fine – and it was only because my mom insisted that she wasn’t well that they eventually found the Cancer. My advice is, Know Your Own Body! and Trust yourself. After going through all the treatment with her, all the various operations that were needed etc and with support from all our family and friends, we came through it. She is now in her 8th year of remission!!

  2. When the specialist phoned and asked me and Sonja, my ex-wife, to come and see him, we really thought he was just going to ask our approval to operate on our daughter Marlené, as she had a nerve stuck in her lower back that needed to be removed.When we arrived, he showed us her scans and informed us that she had what looked to be a malignant tumour.We were advised to travel to Cape Town and have a specialist do a biopsy. I was too shocked to react. Sonja started crying and asked why this was happening to us. Ironically we were given this diagnosis on the eighteenth anniversary of the death of another daughter.

    It was only halfway back home that I finally absorbed that my daughter was seriously ill. I pulled the car over and started crying.

    Taking Marlené to Cape Town for the biopsy was very tough on me. Not only was I thinking that I could lose another child, but the anxiety and fear on her face was almost too much for me to bear.

    Throughout the whole ordeal of commuting between home and Cape Town for Marlené’s chemotherapy and radiation, I managed to remain calm and collected thanks only to God’s helping hand over me. I had to build a wall around me that allowed me to focus on being strong for my daughter, who had managed to remain positive through it all.

    One particular day will remain with me always. In the past Marlené had always been so positive and ready to go for her chemotherapy sessions, but this time when she saw Groote Schuur a look fear crossed her face. It was as though she realised she was wasting her time continuing with the treatment and that the end was near. She begged us not to take her as she no longer wanted to go for chemotherapy. Out of desperation we tried to convince and motivate her not to give up, but she was adamant that she did not wish to continue the treatment. Inside she must have known that the chemo wasn’t working and was no longer as positive as before.

    We still admitted her into hospital that day, but I sensed something was wrong.. During our lunchtime visit Marlené cracked, pulled all the drips out and started crying. We asked the doctor on call to discharge her and we made an appointment to come and see the consultant the next morning. At the appointment the consultant informed us there was nothing more they could do for her, except try different chemotherapies to lighten the pain, but Marlené had had enough and wanted no further treatment.

    I could not believe the peace I saw on her face when she said it.

    After the consultant had explained all the difficulties that lay ahead, Marlené was fully discharged and we headed home.

    It was extremely difficult to let her make that decision, but she was the one with cancer and the final decision lay with her. One should always respect the wish of a cancer patient and go beyond one’s ability to try and fulfill their desire.

    And Marlené’s wish was to die at home under the tender care of her parents, and we acceded to her wishes, despite the hardship of watching her slip away.

    I started to drink heavily, trying to numb myself from reality. I was permanently frustrated and felt so helpless, which led to fights with Sonja and our other daughter, Zanne-Marié. I couldn’t bear seeing Marlené in so much pain and despite all the pain medication she was taking, there was no relief for her. On two occasions I came close to overdosing her, just to free her from the pain, but could never follow through with it.

    One day, she called us into her bedroom and divided her few possessions between her mom, her sister and I and asked for the minister. She had made her peace and was ready to go. Marlené passed away on Sunday, 5 July 2009 at 9:15 with a smile on her face and surrounded by her family. I,too, was at peace, knowing that my daughter was no longer in pain and that her wish to be with God had been fulfilled.

    Marlené planned her own funeral to the last detail and made it clear that it was to be a celebration of her life, not a sad affair. No one was allowed to wear black. She was clearly loved by the Oudtshoorn community and was celebrated in a beautiful send-off.

    After the funeral reality kicked in and I realised my great loss. I felt that I hadn’t appreciated her enough while I had her. I had to live with the guilt that I didn’t spend as much time with her as I could have. Why hadn’t I noticed earlier that there was something wrong with her? Wasn’t there more I could’ve done for her?
    I felt a total failure as a father.

    I fell into a deep depression and no longer wanted to live. Nothing made sense anymore. On Marlené’s birthday, I fled to my brother in Pretoria as I could not face seeing people with pain and sympathy in their eyes.

    My brother found me in the room with the gun in my mouth, ready to commit suicide. Something stopped me, though, and I think in a way Marlené was there, looking over me and preventing me from pulling the trigger.
    Thanks to family, friends and the community I got stronger and I soon started feeling more like myself again, but there was still something haunting me and stopping me from getting inner peace. I wanted to run away from reality and live like a bum. Then through the help of a close friend I realised Marlené wouldn’t want to see me like this. When she was sick and busy dying she remained positive and enjoyed life to the fullest. And here I was, strong and healthy, and I wanted to give up and not live anymore.

    Marlené would want me to celebrate the life she lived, remembering only the happy times not the sad ones. Her positive attitude until the end, although she knew she was dying, has inspired me to walk these 10 million steps in honour of her memory. I want to show other cancer patients that they should still celebrate life, be thankful for what they have, no matter what the future entails. Marlené was such a good example of that to me and everybody around her.

    That is why I am going to do this project of mine, for her legacy. She will always live on in my heart.

    Joppie’s journey, pushing a customized hospital bed (build and sponsored by Stellenbosch university’s engineering department), starts in Oudtshoorn on August 6 and ends here one year later. The journey is a tribute to Marlené’s positive attitude in embracing life fully to the end, It’s her hope and her love that inspired her father to walk more than 5000km to bring hope to cancer patients across the country.
    To make this journey possible, Joppie will need help in the form of sponsorships and donations.
    Ten Million Steps for Cancer will be using these funds for various needs regarding cancer, but mostly for research purposes, to inspire cancer patients and to create awareness for the importance of a healthy lifestyle in the fight against cancer.

    • Bardo says:

      Gosh, I wish I would have had that inofrmtaion earlier!

      • Serhat says:

        Cancer can’t get me down unless I let it. I must not let it. I will not let it.Cancer can’t take away the happy meriomes that will always be mine to cherish. I can make some lovely new ones too that cancer can’t touch.Some “Cans” of cancer:Cancer can introduce me to an amazing sisterhood of fellow breast cancer survivors as well as other courageous people fighting other battles. Cancer has already flung open the doors of my world and invited some beautiful new friends into my life and will continue to do so.Cancer can take away my hair and it did, but only for a season. It was temporary. It’s growing back. Even though it is not returning in the color I had and would have never chosen for myself unless I was much older than I am, I am grateful . There is always hair dye if I want. It is my very own hair again, only softer and I appreciate having hair more than ever. It’s comfortable and not hot and itchy like a wig. It’s going to grow long enough that I’ll even need to comb it again, yeah!!! Men who loose their hair as they age don’t get a new crop to replace what fell out like I have the privilege of getting. Three cheers for hair! Hip, hip, hooray for hair! Thank You God for hair on my head and for returning eyelashes and eyebrows! Too bad armpit and leg hair grows so well despite chemo. Ha!Cancer can (and is) making me into a person that is leaning harder on God, seeking Him more, resting deeper in His love, who is stronger in the strength of the Lord.Cancer can make me a more compassionate person with many new experiences under my belt that allow me the blessing of being able to “be there” for others going through similar circumstances.

  3. I forgot people can also support ten million steps by smsing cancer33903 cost of sms R1.50

  4. Independence says:

    I am froever indebted to you for this information.

  5. Coltin says:

    Shoot, who would have thohgut that it was that easy?

  6. Ferdie Snyman says:

    A couple of years ago my aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer and as time went by and she went for treatments she eventually lost her breast. After a lot of chemo treatments and other treatments the doctor thought the battle was won and we were all very happy. near the end of last year she was diagnosed with (I am not sure but i think) brain cancer, they sent her for more chemo treatments and the doctors told her it seems to be suppressed but not gone things were kind of fine over the next few weeks but after each chemo session she got sicker and sicker. 2 or 3 days ago her parents thought it would do her good to go on a small vacation with her husband, 6 year old son and 9 year old daughter but just before the arrived at their destination she got very sick and they had to call an ambulance. When her parents arrived at the hospital the doctors informed them that the cancer has spread to the marrow in her spine and yesterday when my mom went to visit her, her dad told my mom that the doctor gives her 1 to 4 days.

    Throughout the years she stayed as positive as one can be, even when the chemo made her so sick that it caused her to stay in the hospital on more then one occasion. she has never stopped believing in god. Her will is extremely strong and I cant believe she is going to die so soon… Unfortunately I cant bear to see her the way she is now, as she is a very special person in my life and i’d rather remember the good and AWESOME times we spent together.

  7. Chantel Rall says:

    Hi guys,

    I thought I would take the time to share my story – I am a success story. I found out about two months ago that I have Cervical Cancer. I had demons to fight since I am only 32 and am planning my family for the next 2 years. The long and short of my story, (am sitting in a hospital bed as I am typing this) is that I came into the Vincent Pallotti Hospital in CT on Monday for a Radical Hysterectomy, Pelvic Lymph Node Dissection. All this really means is I wont carry my own children. On Monday afternoon I had my first win – they left my ovaries, they were healthy.

    This morning I had the biggest win: They got all the cancer and I am clean. My results came back clear!

    I am an athlete and training for Ironman 70.3 in East London (Jan 2013). I have to start from scratch and have less than 7 months to go. So in Afrikaans they would say: Harde klippe kou sus!

    But to me it is fast forward.

    New life!! Super excited and here to help wherever you need me!!

    If anyone wants to get hold of me:


    I will try do what I can! If you want to do it with me, take my hand, if you just need a chat, chat to me or if you want to help raise awareness, let’s do this thing!

    The fact that I am healthy now does not mean I am out of the woods, it just means I have more time to help others.

    Sport is my life, it is what I do – Get off your bottom and join me!!

    Much Love!

  8. annelly says:

    4 months ago I was diagonised with stage 3
    breast cancer at 29 years old.
    I just had my 3rd chemo session today. I chose not
    To let cancer defeat or get the best of me because its just a cell
    That went rougue on my body and fortunately I’m in control
    Of my body and have the final say. And I choose too live.

    I knw its hard for some more than others but choose too live
    By being positive, eating healthy and taking suppliment
    Astragalus and vitals maxi vitamin C does the trick for me

    Oh and some green tea.

    Remember cancer fears an oxyginated body so antioxidants
    And immune boosters are the way to go.

    Never give up the fight and if you want too talk some
    Time im Always here at

    Ps…. life is for the living
    Keep the fight!!!!
    Much love

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