Splash out Hope this Cuppa Season for cancer Survivors

Splash out Hope this Cuppa Season for cancer Survivors

Afrikaanse Media Vrystelling

20 June 2018: CANSA is excited to announce the 2018 Cuppa For CANSA season open, which will run from June to 31 October 2018. By hosting or attending a Cuppa event, the public will be able to ‘splash out Hope’ to those affected by cancer, by raising funds towards CANSA’s care and support programmes for cancer Survivors.

“A Cuppa event provides the opportunity to gather for a commendable purpose, while socialising and having fun together. It can be big or small; with family, friends or colleagues; and be held at any venue, allowing the host / hostess to use their individual flair and creativity,” says CANSA’s Head of Sustainability, Maria Scholtz.

CANSA is thankful to Five Roses, who have come on board as the official tea partner for Cuppa For CANSA. Five Roses have created a limited edition Smooth Ceylon Blend 52s pack featuring the pink and blue CANSA ribbon and for every pack sold R1 will be donated to CANSA. Packs will be available for sale across all retailers from Women’s Month in August to Breast Cancer Awareness month in October.

Cuppa ‘I splashed out HOPE’ badge

“This year, we’re selecting the best Cuppa event per region, and winners will receive a Five Roses gift hamper. A limited edition, specially designed apron and oven mitts prize, will be awarded nationally for the best Cuppa recipes received. We encourage hosts to make use of ‘healthy food and beverage options’ at their event, as CANSA promotes a balanced lifestyle to lower the cancer risk,” added Scholtz.

Chaine Des Rotisseurs and Megan Pentz-Kluytz, CANSA’s consulting dietician, have delivered delicious, healthy recipe options, available at www.cuppa.org.za to inspire hosts. Those who would like to host an event may contact their local CANSA Care Centre for host packages, and invite all their contacts to support their event. Specially branded Cuppa mugs (R50) and ‘I splashed out Hope’ badges may also be purchased by hosts or the public at Care Centres, as a special keepsake,” Scholtz continues.

Corporates and others keen to drink a Cuppa for a good cause are encouraged to diarise the first ever, upcoming ‘National Cuppa For CANSA Day’ (3 August 2018). CANSA is challenging the working community to ‘splash out Hope’, and to raise awareness of those affected by cancer, by sharing photos of their event on CANSA’s National Facebook Page – CANSA The Cancer Association of South Africa. Details regarding participation will follow closer to the time.

Scholtz concludes, “Our care and support programmes offered to cancer Survivors (patients), caregivers and loved ones via more than 28 CANSA Care Centres, are dependent on funds raised by our Cuppa campaign. Our service extends across 300 communities country-wide and assists 50 300 people affected by cancer on an annual basis, through education, screening, counselling, support groups, wigs, prostheses, medical equipment hire, home-based care, assistance with wound care and stoma clinics. What could be more satisfying than time well spent with friends, family and colleagues sharing a Cuppa, while ‘splashing out Hope’ to help those fighting cancer?”

For more information, please contact Maria Scholtz, CANSA Head of Sustainability, email mscholtz@cansa.org.za or mobile 083 280 0725.


CANSA offers a unique integrated service to the public and to all people affected by cancer. CANSA is a leading role-player in cancer research (more than R12 million spent annually) and the scientific findings and knowledge gained from our research are used to realign our health programmes, as well as strengthen our watchdog role to the greater benefit of the public.

Our health programmes comprise health and education campaigns; CANSA Care Centres that offer a wide range of care and support services to those affected by cancer; stoma and other clinical support and organisational management; medical equipment hire, as well as a toll-free line to offer information and support.

We also supply patient care and support in the form of 11 CANSA Care Homes in the main metropolitan areas for out-of-town cancer patients; a Wellness Centre based in Polokwane; and CANSA-TLC lodging for parents and guardians of children undergoing cancer treatment.

Queries CANSA

Visit www.cuppa.org.za or www.cansa.org.za, or ontact CANSA toll-free on 0800 22 66 22 or email info@cansa.org.za – follow CANSA on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram. CANSA offers multi-lingual support on WhatsApp: 0721979305 for English and Afrikaans, and 0718673530 for Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho and Siswati.

Cuppa ‘Healthy Recipe’ Competition

Cuppa ‘Healthy Recipe’ Competition

For the 2018 #CuppaForCANSA season, CANSA will be running a ‘Healthy Recipe’ Competition, as CANSA is all about living a balanced lifestyle and making smart and healthy food choices.

Cuppa hosts can enter this competition by submitting their healthy alternative cake, cupcake, tart, etc. recipe.

A limited edition, specially designed apron and oven mitts prize, will be awarded nationally for the best healthy, delicious recipes received.

This year, we really want our Cuppa participants to stand with us in health, by making healthy alternatives for their Cuppa event!

Find inspiration in recipes from Chaine Des Rotisseurs and Megan Pentz-Kluytz, CANSA’s consulting dietician:


More eats & drinks inspiration here…

About Cuppa For CANSA

Visit www.cuppa.org.za for more information and read our Cuppa launch media release…

Ondersteun Kankeroorwinnaars tydens KANSA se ‘Cuppa For CANSA’ Seisoen

English Media Release

20 Junie 2018 – KANSA is opgewonde om aan te kondig dat KANSA se 2018 ‘Cuppa For CANSA’ veldtog in Junie 2018 afskop. Die veldtog sal voortduur tot 31 Oktober 2018. Deur ‘n Cuppa geleentheid aan te bied of by te woon, help lede van die publiek om geld in te samel om almal wat deur kanker geraak word, te help. Die geld wat deur Cuppa For CANSA ingesamel word, word gebruik vir die versorging en ondersteuningprogramme vir kankeroorwinnaars.

“Die aanbieding van ‘n Cuppa geleentheid bied aan almal die geleentheid om te ontmoet en om lekker saam te kuier vir ‘n goeie en lofwaardige doel. Die samekoms kan groot of klein wees; met familie, vriende of kollegas; en kan aangebied word by enige kuierplek. Dit bied ook aan die gasheer of –vrou die geleentheid om hul individuele en unieke styl en kreatiwiteit te gebruik, uit te leef en ten toon te stel,” sê KANSA se Hoof van Volhoubaarheid, Maria Scholtz.

KANSA is dankbaar dat Five Roses aan boord gekom het as die amptelike vennoot wat tee verskaf vir Cuppa For CANSA 2018. Five Roses het ‘n spesiale en beperkte versameling van ‘Smooth Ceylon Blend 52’ pakke ontwerp en beskikbaar gestel vir Cuppa For CANSA 2018. Die pakkies tee sal versier word met ‘n pienk of blou KANSA lint. Vir elke pak tee wat verkoop word, skenk Five Roses R1 aan KANSA. Hierdie spesiale pakke Cuppa For CANSA tee sal beskikbaar wees en kan gekoop word by alle kleinhandelaars. Die veldtog strek vanaf Vrouemaand in Augustus tot en met Oktober wanneer KANSA ‘n veldtog oor die Bewusmaking van Borskanker loods.

Cuppa Kentekens ‘I splashed out HOPE’

“Vanjaar kies ons die beste Cuppa geleentheid of aanbieding per streek en streekswenners sal elkeen ‘n spesiale Five Roses geskenkpak ontvang. ‘n Beperkte hoeveelheid voorskote en oondhandskoene wat spesiaal vir die geleentheid ontwerp is, sal as pryse gegee word aan die beste Cuppa resepte wat ontvang word. Ons moedig gashere en –vroue aan om gesonde kos en drinkgoed aan te bied by hul Cuppa funksies omdat KANSA ‘n gebalanseerde en gesonde leefstyl voorstaan. ‘n Gesonde dieet verminder die risiko van kanker, ” voeg Scholtz by.

Chaine Des Rotisseurs en Megan Pentz-Kluytz, KANSA se konsultant dieetkundige, het heerlike en gesonde resepte beskikbaar gestel. Hierdie resepte is beskikbaar by www.cuppa.org.za en sal gashere van Cuppa For CANSA funksies aanspoor om dadelik te begin bak en brou. As jy ‘n Cuppa geleentheid wil aanbied, kontak jou plaaslike KANSA SorgSentrum om pakkette vir gashere en –vroue te ontvang. Kontak dan al jou kontakte en nooi hulle uit om jou spesiale Cuppa funksie te ondersteun. Spesiale Cuppa bekers word verkoop vir R50 elk en kentekens met die woorde: ‘I splashed out Hope’ kan ook deur die gasheer of –vrou of lede van die publiek gekoop word. Die bekers en kentekens sal jou herinner aan die spesiale Cuppa funksie wat jy ondersteun of aangebied het,” voeg Scholtz by.

Korporatiewe maatskappye en ander wat graag ‘n Cuppa vir ‘n goeie doel wil drink word aangemoedig om die datum van 3 Augustus 2018 in hul dagboeke aan te teken. Op die dag word die eerste ‘Nasionale Cuppa For CANSA Dag’ ooit aangebied. KANSA daag die werkgemeenskap uit om te ‘Bederf Met Hoop’ en om sodoende bewustheid te verhoog vir almal wat deur kanker geraak word. Neem foto’s van jou spesiale Cuppa funksie en deel dit met ander op KANSA se Nasionale Facebook bladsy – CANSA The Cancer Association of South Africa. Besonderhede rakende deelname sal nader aan die tyd beskikbaar gestel word.

Scholtz voeg by: “Ons sorg- en ondersteuningsprogramme wat aan kankeroorwinnaars (pasiënte), versorgers en geliefdes verskaf word en beskikbaar is by meer as 28 KANSA SorgSentrums landswyd, is afhanklik van die fondse wat ingesamel word deur ons Cuppa-veldtog. Ons diens bereik 300 gemeenskappe landswyd en help jaarliks 50 300 mense wat deur kanker geraak word. Die fondse word gebruik vir opvoeding, sifting, berading, ondersteuninggroepe, pruike, prosteses, die verhuring van mediese toerusting, tuisversorging, hulp met die versorging van wonde en stomaklinieke. Wat kan meer bevredigend wees as tyd wat saam met vriende, familie en kollegas geniet word tydens ‘n Cuppa as jy weet dat jy terselfdertyd Hoop Versprei aan hulle wat in ‘n geveg teen kanker betrokke is?”

Vir meer inligting skakel asseblief vir Maria Scholtz, Hoof: Volhoubaarheid by KANSA. Stuur ‘n epos aan mscholtz@cansa.org.za of skakel 083 280 0725.

Meer Oor KANSA

KANSA bied ‘n unieke geïntegreerde diens aan die publiek en mense geaffekteer deur kanker. As ‘n leidende rolspeler in kankernavorsing (meer as R12miljoen jaarliks spandeer) word die wetenskaplike bevindinge en kennis wat deur ons navorsing opgedoen word, gebruik vir ons gesondheidprogramme en om ons rol as waghond tot groter voordeel van die publiek te versterk.

Ons gesondheidprogramme bestaan uit bewusmaking van gesondheid, siftingstoetse vir kanker en veldtogte oor gesondheidopvoeding, KANSA Sorgsentra wat ‘n wye verskeidenheid van sorg- en ondersteuningsdienste bied aan mense wat deur kanker geraak word, stoma en ander kliniese ondersteuning en organisatoriese bestuur, verhuring van mediese toerusting sowel as a tolvrye nommer wat geskakel kan word om inligting en ondersteuning te bekom.

Ons verskaf ook pasiëntesorg en ondersteuning in die vorm van 11 KANSA Sorgtuistes in die hoof metropolitaanse areas vir weg-van-die-huis kankerpasiënte plus een hospitium in Polokwane, sowel as KANSA-TLC verblyf aan en ondersteuning van ouers en voogde van kinders wat behandeling vir kanker ontvang.

Navrae KANSA

Vir meer inligting besoekwww.cuppa.org.za of  www.cansa.org.za, of kontak KANSA tolvry by 0800 22 66 22 of of stuur ‘n epos na info@cansa.org.za – volg KANSA op Twitter, Facebook, en Instagram. KANSA bied veeltalige ondersteuning aan op  Whatsapp: 0721979305 vir Engels en Afrikaans en 0718673530 vir Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho and Siswati.

National Cuppa For CANSA Day – August 2018

National Cuppa For CANSA Day – August 2018

CANSA has decided to instate a ‘National Cuppa For CANSA Day’ – the first ever national celebration will take place on 3 August 2018.

Corporates and others keen to drink a Cuppa for a good cause are encouraged to diarise the event.

CANSA is challenging the working community to ‘splash out Hope’, and to raise awareness of those affected by cancer, by sharing photos of their event on CANSA’s National Facebook PageCANSA The Cancer Association of South Africa.


Details regarding participation will follow closer to the time…

Purchase a ‘Splash Out Hope’ Mug Cuppa Keepsake

Purchase a ‘Splash Out Hope’ Mug Cuppa Keepsake

Anyone can become a #CuppaForCANSA host, by simply contacting their local CANSA Care Centre and using the handy tips available on the Cuppa website.

We encourage you to take part in this Cuppa season, by being a host, or as a guest of one of the CANSA Cuppa’s. Let your creative juices loose, and host a Cuppa.

For this year’s Cuppa, we have some lovely mugs available for purchase at R5o each. These mugs are a great keepsake for the Cuppa season and a wonderful addition to any event.

About Cuppa

For more info contact your local CANSA Care Centre, and visit www.cuppa.org.za

Rooibos Iced Tea Variations

Iced Rooibos Tea


  • 3 cups (750 ml) fresh cold water
  • 6 bags of Rooibos tea
  • 3 cups ( 750 ml) soda water
  • Garnish with sprigs of fresh mint or lemon slices, if desired.
  • Add honey to taste before chilling


  • Bring water to a boil
  • Pour over tea bags and let it steep for 5 to 7 minutes
  • Pour tea into heatproof pitcher
  • Cool to room temperature, then chill
  • Fill another pitcher with ice and add the Rooibos tea
  • Top with soda water
  • Stir gently and serve

Source: www.sarooibos.co.za

Summer Refresher


  • 1 litre strong, cold Rooibos tea
  • 500 ml orange juice
  • 1 litre home-made ginger ale **
  • 1 litre soda water
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • Fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • Crushed ice


  • Mix Rooibos and orange juice
  • Chill mixture
  • Add chilled ginger ale and soda water, just before serving
  • Garnish with lemon slices and mint
  • Serve with crushed ice

Source: www.sarooibos.co.za (adapted Megan Pentz-Kluytz, CANSA’s Consulting Dietician)

** Homemade Ginger Ale 

Serves 8


  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups sliced fresh ginger root (not necessary to peel), just rinse well
  •  2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • Sparkling mineral water or club soda


  • In a medium pot, combine water and ginger over high heat. Once boiling, lower heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for one hour. Remove lid and continue to simmer 30 more minutes.
  • Take off heat and strain mixture to remove ginger. Stir in lemon and honey. Cool completely. This is your ginger syrup.
  • To make ginger ale, put a handful of ice into a glass. Add ¼ cup ginger syrup, and fill the rest of the glass with sparkling water.

Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-14488/diy-all-natural-ginger-ale.html

Strawberry Punch


  • 1 litre strong, cold Rooibos
  • 1 litre apple juice
  • 500 ml granadilla / passion fruit juice
  • 500 ml strawberry juice
  • 3 bottles (750 ml each) of sparkling water
  • 2 punnets of strawberries, sliced
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1/2 cup granadilla pulp
  • Fresh mint leaves


  • Mix Rooibos, apple, granadilla and strawberry juices and chill
  • Add chilled sparkling water
  • Garnish with strawberries, orange and mint

Source: www.sarooibos.co.za (adapted by Megan Pentz-Kluytz, CANSA’s Consulting Dietician)

Fruity Iced Tea


  • 5 Rooibos teabags
  • 3 litres water
  • 1 pineapple, peeled and sliced thickly
  • 3 peaches, cut into wedges
  • 2 oranges, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 200 g castor sugar


  • Place all the ingredients into a large pot and bring to the boil
  • Turn the heat down and allow to simmer very gently for 15 minutes
  • Remove from the heat, strain and discard the fruit
  • Store the tea the fridge until well chilled. Check the sweetness and add more honey to taste if necessary
  • Serve over ice

Source: www.lecreuset.co.za

Le Creuset Contribution to Cuppa Campaign & Winners 2015 Le Creuset Competition

CANSA is thankful to Le Creuset for supporting our Cuppa Campaign yet again.

For the fourth consecutive year, Le Creuset committed to assisting CANSA with their Cuppa For CANSA campaign. The focus for 2015, was on CANSA Care Homes, as reflected in the ‘Care in a Cup’ theme.

Le Creuset hosted their own ‘Grand Cuppa For CANSA’ tea parties at three of the country’s leading high tea establishments – in Johannesburg (Inanda Club), Durban (The Oyster Box) and Cape Town (The Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel), and raised a combined total of R174 115-00 for CANSA, with the generous support of attendees.

In addition, Le Creuset also boosted its own contribution by donating 15% of Chiffon Pink product sales during the campaign period (15 September to 31 October) to CANSA, amounting to R77 390-62.

Thank you Le Creuset!

Winners 2015 Le Creuset Competition Announced

As part of the campaign, Le Creuset challenged people all over the country to gather with friends and loved ones to share a friendly cuppa, in order to raise further awareness and funds for CANSA. Three fabulous category prizes were up for grabs, each consisting of a R5000 Le Creuset voucher.

Competition winners were thoroughly deserving – read more and be inspired by entrants’ fabulous Cuppa pics


Live, Love, Laugh and Don’t Give Up

Helen Barnard shared her story recently at the 12 Apostles Cuppa Event:

Celebrating my cousins birthday during chemo
Helen celebrating her cousin’s birthday during chemo…

In 2009 my gynaecologist suggested I have a total hysterectomy, and to go on hormone replacement tablets.

In Feb 2011 they detected a lump in my left breast when I went for my yearly mammogram and they removed it – it was found to be benign.

In Sept 2011 my cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer. Being very close family we were all shocked. We all supported her for the Ithemba walk, but if I look back we did not really know what my cousin was going through or feeling.

In January 2012, I decided to do one of the items on my bucket list – I wanted my motorbike licence. After going to a driving school, with no bike of my own, I eventually received my licence. A very proud 53 year old. Another goal achieved.

My friend Lyn and I used to meet up at the local pub, have our two brandy and cokes and then go off home. This was done diligently every Friday, as Lyn used to work long hours and a Friday night was the only night she felt she had to entertain herself.

At times I did not feel like going, but felt so guilty that I just used to go along so I could see Lyn’s smiling face when entering the pub. She was a quiet person. Never said much, but soon got to know everyone and she came out of her shell.

During our chats she said that she had problems with her neck I eventually convinced her to see a doctor, as the physiotherapist sessions had not helped her. She was then informed that she had cancer (a tumour in her neck) a very rare bone cancer that was only diagnosed from a Professior in Bloemfontein after quite some time. I was shocked.

Not 2 months later, I told her that I had something to tell her – I HAD CANCER – we politely laughed it off and said we were not returning to the local pub, as it was not brandy and coke, but brandy and cancer that the two of us had got.

Sharing a special moment with Lyn…

Lyn had a difficult time with chemo, radiation and skin graft. We were due to visit her on a Tuesday night and in the early hours of the morning, we were informed that Lyn had passed away. I missed her as we used to have regular chats re what we both were going through, and the times that we had spent together at the local pub and New Year’s Eve dances (she loved dancing).

At the end of Feb 2012, I went for my yearly mammogram. Once again there appeared to be a suspicion that something was not right.

This had happened so many times previously, so when they called the doctor to come and check it, I was not at all concerned. She was a lovely Indian doctor and her comment to me was “ this time it looks like it is going to be positive.”

My reaction was to say “ok”. They then decided to book me in for a needle biopsy. I got a call from my surgeon at work – his words – my girlie you have cancer. Not even 6 months after my cousins diagnosis (diagnosed 1 March 2012, Grade III Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma). This cancer starts in a duct then breaks through the duct wall and invades the fatty tissue of the breast. This is the most common one.

I had no reaction. I think I just accepted it. I picked up the phone and politely told my two sons over the phone, which today I don’t think was right, and said I had cancer. My youngest son doesn’t show emotion. That evening we had a family braai. I noticed him standing all alone in the dark and went up to him to ask him whether he was alright. He burst out crying. This was the first time in years that I had seen him break down and cry. It killed me to see him hurting so much. I also informed my sister who cried her eyes out, but I just told her I would be fine.

I had booked to go to Thailand in April, but was advised to have my breast removed immediately. The cancer was aggressive and was advised I start the necessary chemo and radiation. This trip was cancelled immediately.

On 12 March 2012 I was admitted to hospital – my sister right behind me in the theatre, as well as my friend. All people around me at theatre wished me well, with tears around me from my sister and friend. I tried to be strong but the tears rolled slowly down my face. I turned away as I didn’t want them to see how frightened I really was . When I woke up I realised the reality of the situation. My breast was gone, but still nothing. All I could do was be strong. I could not afford to break down. I had a long road ahead. Little did I know how long that road would be.

I recovered quickly and my plastic surgeon came and told me what was in store for me in the future and how she was going to reconstruct the breast. I requested that I had a skin saving reconstruction done. In this way she did not have to use part of my shoulder muscle to build up a new breast. What she did was she put an expander under my skin and every 3 weeks or so I would go and have some liquid injected into a port which would stretch my skin. This would be done until my skin had been stretched until the required size and left like that until 6 – 9 months after radium had been completed. This would give the skin enough time to heal.

I had to wait for about 3 weeks after the breast removal until chemo began. I did not know what to expect. I met with my oncologist who explained that I would have 4 red devil sessions (this was very strong chemo) with three weeks apart, then another 12 weekly sessions of chemo, a break of 3 weeks and then 5 weeks of daily radium sessions. Thereafter I would be put on a tablet for 5 years (Arimidex).

I was told that within the second week after the first red devil session I would begin to lose my hair. Once I experienced the loss of hair, I should go and have it all shaved off, as it becomes very traumatic. My hair had always been healthy, long and very dark.

By the second week I started experiencing the hair loss. It became so bad that I looked like Mo from the 3 Stooges. A bald patch right through the middle with hair only on the sides. When I brushed my hair, it started to come out in bunches. I then decided that I would go and have my hair shaved off by my hairdresser that had cut my hair for

He knew what I was going through and when I sat down with him – his words to me were, “Are you ready for this?” He put his hands through my hair and there and then the hair came out in bunches in his hands. His answer was, “Yes, I can see what you mean, it has to come off.”

He started to shave my hair and slowly the tears rolled down my face. I didn’t sob as I did not want anyone to see what I was going through, but by this time all eyes was on me and people started to come up to me to tell me how brave I was, how they had shaved their hair for their mom, and one woman started to cry. I got up and went to comfort her telling her that I would be fine. That helped me that I had to comfort someone else.

I had my wigs with me – I had purchased them while I still had hair as this helped the lady decide which would be best for me as she could see what I looked like before my hair loss. I had a short wig (bob style) and one that was just like I currently look – long and in layers. My hairdresser was fantastic, and I am thankful to him for his sensitivity to my situation.

My eyebrows and eyelashes also fell out. I attended a Look Good feel Better day. Here they taught you how to put makeup on such as drawing eyebrows, how you had to measure it so it looked the same and in the right place, and line your eyes so that it was not noticeable that you had no eyelashes.

I experienced many funny situations with my wigs, which my friends had many laughs about:

When coming out of the hospital one day, I walked to my car in the howling South Easter. As someone wanted my parking space, I directed him to my car and the next minute I felt my wig blow off into the wind. Well, the man’s face in the car was that of disbelief. He didnt know to react. By that time my cousin had run down the road after my wig!

Another time it was my birthday and we went to The Mount Nelson Hotel for high tea. There was an elderly gentleman serving us and handed me my cup of tea and at that point the wig fell backwards and I was wigless. The faces around me were priceless. He tried to comfort me by saying that I was beautiful with or without a wig. But I told him I was ok, that I was laughing and not crying. Needless to say he did not return.

My two sons took me to lunch one day. We were sitting on a balcony – it became very hot and I asked them if it would be ok if I took the wig off – their replied, “Whatever makes you comfortable mom.” I then took it off which resulted in funny looks around me – people did not know whether to look , whether to smile, or pretend they had not noticed. I just carried on with our lunch of course!

My wigs sometimes looked like a wig and other times you would think it was my normal look. I would confuse friends on a daily basis by never looking the same, wigs changed, bandanas or sometimes just going plain au naturel.

I took strain with the first rounds of chemo – some sessions I could not do within the required period as my blood levels weren’t right, so I had to wait until the following week.

The first time that I could not go for chemo due to my blood levels upset me terribly – I thought I had done something wrong. I soon learned that it was not me. My body had to build itself up. No amount of whatever I would take would help my blood levels.

I would go to chemo on a Wednesday and go back to work on the Monday. Sometimes dragging myself there and feeling so weak still, but knowing that as I was alone and had no partner in life, I could not jeopardize my job with my illness.

My sister (a real Florence Nightingale) would arrive on a Wednesday after work ready to look after me. Here she would cook up a meal and open up all the windows and doors so I did not get nauseous from the smells.

Well chemo had certainly taken its toll. I was tired but pushed myself on, knowing that I had to find light at the end of the tunnel.

I would surround myself with positive people. Some people had the nerve to tell me I was going to die and that chemo would just prolong my life – I cut them out of my life. My support system was great. I did not have to see anyone. Small things like a bbm, text message and phone call helped me get through all of it.

I received a lot of support from a group of people from a Music Group (this group of people would often raise funds for people in need of support – such as cancer). What a support group they proved to be and still are. They laughed and cried with me.

I met so many people during the time that I was under chemotherapy. I knew exactly who the new patients were and would always go over and chat to them and encourage them, even if I knew the news was not good.

They always used to ask me why I was there. They would not believe what I was going through, as I was always laughing. I also always had a wig on. When they said they could not believe I was also ill, I would take my wig off and show my baldness.

I was known as the lady who was always laughing and going to the loo, as the drip made me constantly run off to the ladies. I would have the patients in fits of laughter with all my stories. At times I would nod off due to the chemo, and find a sister waking me up to say that the treatment for the day was finished.

Once I started my weekly sessions I would drive myself to and from chemo – trying at all times to be as independent as possible and not relying on help from others. My normal housework routine continued throughout my illness, and my son would treat me no differently. He believed by treating me as if I weren’t ill, it would give me strength, and I do believe this worked. He never allowed me to let my illness get me down. He would joke with me (even though inwardly I knew he was hurting to see me go through all of this).

In October, once again as a family we did the Ithemba walk, and even though on chemo I managed to do the 5 km.

Ithemba Walk

On a Sunday when going for a drive – I would not have the strength to even get to the car, but I would force myself and when getting to the beach – which was where I would want to be – I would stare out at the ocean with the thought of why me? That thought soon became something of the past. I felt I didn’t have the right to ask the question, but to accept it.

On 31 October 2012 my chemo sessions were completed. I was over the moon. I remember the door opened, and all I could see were balloons. As they came nearer I soon realised that it was my friends. Well it certainly brightened up the whole room. The men in the room could not keep their eyes off the beautiful women, and it brought smiles to all around. What a wonderful sight this was, as well as an amazing feeling that I was loved by these people, who had come to celebrate this special day.

Celebration of end of Chemo
Celebrating after chemo…

People would tell me what I should take that would take cancer away completely – I know everyone meant well – but I do believe that faith in God, as well as having a positive attitude helps.

I changed my Oncologist once I commenced with radium treatment. My new Oncologist took the time to answer all the questions that I never had answers to previously – this made me feel so much more confident in where I was going.

The problem was that I had never had this illness before and never knew what to expect. I needed reassurance of where I was going. The new practice showed concern for me, going out of their way to assure me of their assistance at all times, advising me of who I was seeing each week and giving me the confidence in the treatment
that I was been given. (This was very important to me).

On 29 December 2012 I completed my radiation. The new year was to commence for me with all my treatment completed.

I felt like a weight had been taken off my shoulders. I wanted to go up Table Mountain to celebrate. It was too windy and so I went up to Signal Hill, wind and all, and let 5 balloons loose in the wind. Each balloon had a meaning. My life was starting fresh and my year of treatment had ended.

In January 2013, I had all my tests done and was given the all clear. My doctor confirmed I was in remission and my 5 year medication started.

I only wish that my friend Lynette was with me today to get the same results. I can say however, that my cousin who was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of months before me, has also been given the all clear.

People tend to think that once in remission all is ok, but the fear when you go for your check-ups is still there. The joints in your body may still ache and your feet may still be numb.

We are not all so lucky to have a support system . When people say they have cancer, you tend to think of it as a death warrant, but there IS HOPE and for many of us light at the end of the tunnel.

My hair has started to grow back and I can flutter my eyelashes again.

I still live on sleeping tablets as I don’t sleep; find my hands and fingers clenched at times and then I have to remind myself to be calm and relax. But it is not all that easy…

I have since been boarded due to Fibromyolgia & arthritis and because I need to take a large amount of medication to manage my pain and keep me going.

Thank You God for being with me all the way. Through my experience I am hoping to help others through their tough times.

I can also say thank you for the times that I was able to have special weekends away while I was ill. Many a time I would stare at the sea that went on for miles in front of me and that is where my mind was at times. (A feeling of never knowing what to expect or where you were).

I definitely live life to the fullest and make the best of any circumstance that arises.

I have since had reconstruction done to my breast in the last 3 years. My last operation was in June 2015. It has been a success. My nipple has been reconstructed. My plastic surgeon advised me that this would come from the inside of my leg. The result could not have been better. (Smile).

I have however since had two knee operations, and been diagnosed with Barrett’s Syndrome (which means I have to go for regular scopes).

But I am still living life to the fullest (LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH and DON’T GIVE UP!)

So burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. TODAY is special!

Lovilee Website Features Inspiring Cuppa’s

Lovilee submissions from Cuppa hostesses were received and featured on www.lovilee.co.za

Laura Thomas (2014):

“My mom has always felt strongly about supporting CANSA. Both her mother & grandmother had cancer & passed away at an early age, so it was very meaningful for her to host a Cuppa for CANSA tea party in their memory. It’s also a cause close to my heart, & it was an honour to help with the planning & the décor.”


Inge Newport (2013):