My name is Able Mdhluli
My journey started unexpectedly when I was only 13 years old, in October 2013. Just a few days after my 13th birthday, I collapsed at a netball tournament and after that I started going in and out of doctors’ offices.
I was finally admitted at Donald Gordon Medical Centre where I was diagnosed with Leukemia. Fortunately, it was still at the earliest stage.
After 3 months of being in hospital, I started with chemotherapy, which made me lose my hair. This was the most frustrating event throughout the whole process. My nails also turned blue and I felt sick all the time. After that I went for radiation, I remember I used to vomit after every session.
I finished my treatment in 2016 October and I've been in remission since then. And I've been living my best life!
Teen years are the most frustrating years in one's life, and being diagnosed with a life-threatening disease makes things worse. Many questions without answers run through your mind. The years of treatment can change you physically and emotionally. During that time, I grew into deep understanding of God's word and life in general. I learnt to appreciate every single moment of life.
The feeling of seeing yourself as different from other kids, dropping out of school and not to mention being away from your family and friends was too heavy on me sometimes, but having loving and supportive family and friends kept me going. If was to mention all of them my story would be too long. Seeing the way they loved and cared for me, made me want to fight even harder. I won't lie there were days where the pain was too much and I felt like giving up, but I didn't.
Organisations like Cupcakes of Hope and Reach for a Dream were also there for us financially since the medical expenses were too much. Hope is the only thing that makes you want to wake up the following day and they gave me and my family that.
To cancer sufferers, as someone who understands you and knows exactly what you're going through every day, I would love to let you know that you are not alone.
"Keep striving, for God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers.”
You are strong and you're going to make it out of this even more stronger. We can beat cancer, just hang in there, there is light at the end of the tunnel. And I love you so much.
My favourite quote is "it's always darkest before dawn" which means don't give up during hard times because things are hardest right before they get better.
When the pain is too much, you might as well start celebrating. And have faith that all things will work out. I am currently studying medicine in one of the universities in Russia. I can't wait to graduate and start giving back and helping people who are going through what I once went through. I believe that I'm going to be a great DOCTOR.
I have grown into a responsible young lady. I am almost 20 years old now and I can describe myself as a person who is strong and courageous.
I'm no longer afraid to face challenges. Over the years I have learnt to be patient and focus on my goals. I can't wait to see what life has in store for me.
For my case if was different because even though I didn't know anything about cancer at first, I was diagnosed early. But I honestly feel like if I knew better, I would have known what to do from the start.
I want to be 100% involved in raising awareness about cancer because I believe that when it is diagnosed early you stand a better chance to survive.
Cancer is not a death sentence.
We can beat cancer.
I'm a survivor 💛