Reader’s letter: The unknown angels on my cancer path


Estelle Venter writes:

I read all the women’s letters who walk or have walked the breast cancer road and I relive my own experience from 12 years ago.

I was 48 years old when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I also received chemotherapy. My hair was also falling out and the effects of the chemo were debilitating, but I decided to keep working. My doctor advised me to take six months sick leave, but I felt I had to keep going and push through – I had to fight this disease with everything in me.

Fortunately, I had very supportive employers who did not hesitate to send me home already at ten in the morning if they could see that I was not feeling well after a chemo session.

However, what I remember most, and maybe it’s a good thing, are the angels that came my way during my treatment.

My dear husband, who came to sit with me every chemo session for the whole day, my two children who always understood when mommy wasn’t feeling well, and then my housekeeper who prayed for me promptly at twelve o’clock every afternoon. On Sundays she dedicated me in her church, until one day an old granny asked her why she no longer calls my name in church on Sundays, to which she replied that I am now healthy. She replied to her: “Never stop praying for her”. Thank you uncle, I never knew you, but you are also an angel.

I think of my oncologist and the cancer sisters – you are angels made of one piece.

There were many unknown angels – people I had no knowledge of, but who walked into my life unseen. One day an unknown lady walked into my office and asked about some person’s office. She noticed that I was wearing a headscarf (I never wanted to wear a wig). When I answered her that I had breast cancer and was receiving treatment, she introduced herself and said that she was a medical representative. She wanted to know if I had my sugar tested regularly during my chemotherapy. Without hesitation, she took a brand new sugar test machine out of her bag and presented it to me. An unknown angel who was actually looking for someone else…

One day my daughter and I went to the supermarket. A lady also asked me about my headscarf – whether it was by choice or whether I might have cancer. I replied that it was because of the chemo treatment and without thinking twice she took a gift out of her handbag. Her words: “I just knew I had to give someone a present today.” Another unknown angel.

Thank you to all the angels in our cancer fighters’ lives – whether you are known or unknown angels, you give us wings.