Reader’s letter: Cancer and faith


Mard-Mari Nortje writes:

I have always liked the saying that goes: “When God puts you in it, he will get you through it”, but never thought these would be the words that carried me through.

I was diagnosed with inflammatory stage four breast cancer at 28. What makes the cancer so different is that it is not only inside your breast, but also outside your breast where it slowly begins to eat away at your breast. So after many tests and thousands of kilometers of travel to Cape Town, they were able to determine that the cancer had spread from my breast to my sternum (which the cancer had already eaten 60%), lungs, vertebrae, liver and hips.

It was an emotional day when the doctor called me and shared the news. I knew it was serious when a seasoned doctor sat in front of me crying and all he could say was: “Sorry my child”.

For a long time, showering was my favorite thing to do, because within those three walls and sheets, no one could see my tears. For a long time I was addicted to a mirror. I looked at my breast every day and hoped for a miracle that my breast would look just a little better, but I still had to stare a little at a misshapen breast with a big raw sore.

But after many tears and begging, God speaks to me and I get the expression again that says: “If God puts you in it, he will get you through it” and I could see it. God saw me and my family’s need and sent wonderful people our way who lightened our burdens. It is still not easy to leave my children with my parents for weeks, but I had one goal and that was to get well.

Living with cancer is not always easy. You have bad days and good days, but if you keep believing and hoping, it gets better day by day.