My name is Busie Thwalafrom, I’m from South Africa and I would like to share my story on pancreatic cancer that sadly took away my father Mr Seretse Thwala- aged 65 on the 28 March 2017.
He was diagnosed on the 5th December 2016 after experiencing symptoms of jaundice, yellow eyes and strong yellow urine.
My mom took him to the doctor when he was complaining of itchy body and his eyes turned yellow. The doctor booked him for an appointment the following week. On Sunday while at church he felt tired and was sweating, mom rushed him to hospital. At casualty, the doctor was concerned about the pain he felt when he was examining his tummy. The next day the doctor ordered blood test to be done and they revealed tumour on his liver.
A biopsy was done to investigate the tumour, the results came back to say it was cancer. The oncologist took him for scan to discover how far it has gone and they discovered that it was stage 4 of pancreatic cancer. My dad was 64 years old, was diabetic but a non-smoker and didn’t touch alcohol. The oncologist called my mom, brother, and myself to explain what stage 4 cancer mean and available treatment. She the informed us that they were going to put him on Chemotherapy which was not going to cure the cancer but prevent it from spreading.
Our lives were shattered, we cried and couldn’t believe why would this happened to my dad who was disabled and hard working. Who worked hard to provide for us regardless of his disability. Who was loving and caring. He went through cycles of chemotherapy which we saw making weak, losing weight and hair, had mouth sores.
It was painful seeing him going through so much but he fought and had faith in God. In December he had surgery where a stunt was put to clear his yellow eyes. We had Christmas together. In January, he was in and out of hospital because chemotherapy made him prone to infection and his haemoglobin was low he had to have blood transfusion now and again.
In March he began coughing non-stop and went for x-rays which revealed that he had chest infection. He was admitted again and was on antibiotics. On 22 March he went for chemotherapy after blood test his haemoglobin was low again he had to have blood transfusion. He was admitted and on the 24 March was placed at ICU he started to have seizures and doctors gave him infection to sedate him.
He was sleeping overtime and when he woke up he would have a seizure and the nurses with. Give him injection. We never spoke to him again until the 28th March 2017 08h30 he lost the battle to cancer. I’m still sad and cry now and again but part of me feel that he’s resting. I wanted closure and I started researching about this disease.
There are no awareness projects that I know about here in South Africa but I would love to be part of any project to create awareness about the disease, that is why I am sharing my story.