This is my testimony to all the brave souls that have fought and lived with cancer.
My name is Brett Louis Enslin. Son to my parents Gayle and Hilton and most importantly, most legendary, handsome and perfect sibling to my sister Dominique.
I am a Testicular Cancer Survivor and I have a beautiful daughter called Olivia. I was told I would not be able to have children for a time or perhaps never. She arrived shortly after my treatment (take that).
I have had the privilege to share many stages with the stars in music and I have got to experience the magic in music and performing.
But there’s that story of mine that I had to face the fact. That I had Cancer.
I’ve been in remission for a few years and have had some time to reflect, why me?
You see, I believe cancer doesn’t just kill your body, it destroys other things, especially loved ones. It has an ability to make a person face both crossroads and mountains. I also believe in my realm of thoughts that when we carry stress and anxiety, this loads starts to bare on you and weigh you down, triggering cancer. I speak for myself as this is the life I drive and have to understand.
I lost my parents at a young age. I’m not good with specific’s because I learnt early to look back, but never stare. You not going that way, so pardon if there are no dates on my struggles.
So, back to mom and dad. They passed away due to unfortunate circumstances. Then my uncle Terry Madden passed from a heartache. He was going to take us in after this huge loss in me and my sisters lives. So me and Dominique landed up living with our grandparents while attending boarding school in the Natal Midlands. I lost my grandparents and my most loved grandmother to Cancer and me and my sister spent most of our childhood in foster care in separate homes.
Later on, my darling sister developed thyroid cancer and passed away in my spare room. I found her. She had taken her life because of what she was carrying and the disease. I lost my wife to the collateral that cancer caused. I was told I might not get through this. She fed me and helped me to the bathroom, and married me when I couldn’t stand and talk, as the wedding was planned and booked straight after chemo. I looked like Uncle Fester from the Addams family story.
Now why am I going on about background? I’m 100 percent sure that during this mess with heartache and pain, I started carrying and burdening myself with stress and things that I could not control. This, ladies and gentleman is how I believe some of us can get sick. Look I’m sure not a doctor and they will tell you that there’s a lot more to it, but all I have is my thoughts and a PHD in results.
After contracting cancer I served aggressive chemo. I lost my job and then battled to find work due to the stigma of cancer. People became afraid of me. But others embraced me and helped me into treatment and surgery with radio drives, fund raisers and just being good old-fashioned humans.
I learnt to love again after the cancer made me bitter and self-obsessed on, “Why me?” and “The world is against me” as I’ve buried all that, carry my surname and have basically been at the mercy of life and never experienced having a home with my family.
Music has also helped me get to the core of this message of self-hate. Carrying these burdens have made me want to make people feel wanted and loved and to believe that they could choose happiness.
My motto in life I got from a children’s home. It is ……
“Don’t be a prisoner of the past, but a prophet of the future.”
I wear that saying on my body just as I bear the scars of cancer and life.
Whatever you’re carrying. Let it go. Work on the release. Do something that makes you happy. Fall in love. Pick up a guitar and share your music and truth with the world. Whoever you are and whatever you are carrying, I know you didn’t put there with the rest of stuff on your back. Just know it’s your back pack made by life and accepted by you.
Be Bold. Be Brave. And Be Kind (to yourself)