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MY STORY

 

 

Welcome to my website. My name is Lizel and this is my story……………..

 

My Mom died when I was 8 from breast cancer. She was only 36 when she was diagnosed and passed away when she was 40.

 

So this is not only my story but my mom’s too.

 

First of all I would just like to say what an honour it is to be sharing this with you today because I hope that I am able to do two things……… firstly to bring awareness to this disease and secondly to bring hope and encouragement to those that are busy fighting it.

 

I was diagnosed at the age of 33, on the 5 of May 2010, a day I will never forget. My husband and I had been married for two years and this was supposed to be the year I was finally going to be a mommy myself.

 

I went off the pill at the beginning of the year and found it so amazing to rediscover my body again. I was monitoring my menstrual cycles and knew exactly when I was going to ovulate. I found this all totally fascinating until one day in February, when I felt something strange in my left breast. I thought it might just be my hormones going haywire and that it might be nothing, however I made an appointment with my gynecologist just in case. I could only get an appointment with him in March and when I finally saw him I was told it was nothing. I even asked if I should maybe have a mammogram and was told “I was too young for those things”. I went home feeling “kind of relieved” however not a 100% convinced. Needless to say in May I once again discovered “the lump”.

 

I called up my best friend Sam who insisted I have it checked out. The next thing I knew my whole world came crashing down around me. I HAD BREAST CANCER! And worst of all I was told that I might have to go on hormone blockers which meant I would not be able to have kids for at least 5 years, if at all. I can’t tell you what was more devastating.

 

The next couple of days were a bit of a blur as I went through a roller coaster of emotions. What I do remember was how overwhelmed I was with all the love and support I received from everyone. I somehow drew strength from that, and knowing that my Heavenly Father had me in the palm of his hand. He had given me peace that passes all understanding and because of that I had no fear.

 

I then decided that Cancer would not define me…………. but instead I would make it…………. MY defining moment.

 

I thank God that because of what my Mom went through, I was always aware of breast cancer and therefore through self examinations I had caught it early. Because of that, it had not spread to my lymph nodes and my prognosis was really good.

 

I was also so blessed that I have the most amazing Doctors treating me. One in particular was Dr Carol Ann Benn who has such a passion for fighting this disease that she has opened three breast care centers across Gauteng not only to help woman like you and I, but to also help underprivileged woman in this country. I remember how reassured I was when she told me  how far advanced they are with medical technology that if you compare what they are doing now to what they did 25 years ago (when my Mom fought the disease)  it would be like comparing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with an Aston Martin.

 

It made me realize what important work NGO’s like the Breast Health Foundation are doing as they raise funds for the research done so that women like me can fight the fight, woman like my Mom could not. This is what has driven me to start this business. Not only to help woman get their dignity back and help them feel beautiful whilst fighting this disease, but also giving back to the Breast Health Foundation in order for them to continue the good work they are doing.

 

Let me tell you as I write this and God is my witness…………. Breast Cancer is not a death sentence. Early detection is the most critical thing. Listen to your gut feeling. Don’t always take your Doctors word for it. If you not happy go for a second opinion.

 

As for me…….. I am happy to tell you that I am cancer free!!!! My cancer turned out to be unresponsive to hormones which meant I did not need to go on any hormone blockers. Just over 11 months after my last chemo God blessed us and I fell pregnant with my little boy Ashton. He is now 19 months old and we are expecting our little girl Tatum in the middle of June.

 

One thing I want to share with you that my step mom told me in Afrikaans was, “my kind…….jy moet dit as n’ eer sien dat die Here jou gekies het vir hierdie ding” Some people might find that a strange thing to say but I immediately knew what she meant.

I know that this thing was not from God but He would use this situation to mould me if I only let Him. It’s not been an easy journey and I would not wish it on anyone……….However I would also not wish it any different………I’ve been so blessed through it all…… and that is because I have decided to be positive and never take my eyes off of HIM!

 

I AM a SURVIVOR and this journey has made me a stronger and more refined WOMAN.

 

I hope and pray that this inspires you as you face your journey.