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Denise Modlin


Breast Cancer 


My name is Denise Modlin/Goldstein


I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 and would like to share my journey with you.

I was due for a routine mammogram and all the odds were against me to make time to actually make the effort.  Please everyone out there go for regular check-ups!

I went.  It was a hot day, I had two hours between my personal training clients and felt that was enough time.  I arrived at my appointment to be told the machine for the mammograms had broken down due to the heat and a new air conditioner was on the way a portable one as this was one of the days of load shedding.  Eight people were still ahead of me. 


This was my first step of learning patience.  I was anxious as there was only now half an hour left till my next client, but a nagging in my head told me wait.  I was called in and my mammogram was done and I was told to wait.  Now I had to have an ultra sound.  I wanted to go teach but was told you must go but come back for your ultra sound straight afterwards.  I cancelled my clients.

The procedure was followed and I had a biopsy that late afternoon and was told it doesn’t look good.  I had not told anyone in my family that I had gone for my routine check-up and realised how important family is.

Straight away my husband arrived at the rooms.  I was fortunate that the next morning at 07H30, I was in the room of my oncologist still in total disbelief that I had the C word, but this time with the support of my family.

A whirlwind of appointments then took place.  The good news…. the breast cancer had been caught in the early stages. By lunchtime I was at a surgeon and two days later went in for my first operation.

My mind then had to become strong and I realised this was a challenge but I can go in positive or fight against it. 

Positive mind and positive energy and support was my saving grace.

I was fortunate it was not in my glands but needed a second operation.  I went into the same ward, now it was becoming a reality, but I knew I was going to fight this, come out strong and the same way as I work with my clients, in a positive way in the fitness industry, which I have been in my whole life, and this was my challenge.

Two days after my second operation, a Wednesday night I received a call from the surgeon to say the oncologist was not happy and I needed a 3rd operation.  All took place in a space on 10 days.

My family then surrounded me and were all at the hospital with me on the Friday morning for the 3rd operation.  The support I received, the care of the staff at the hospital and now the faith I put back into my medical team, was my next step to becoming positive.

I also had a goal to get well, it was beginning of October and my daughter was getting married at a destination wedding overseas at end of December. Please set yourself goals. they are all achievable.

I had to recover before I could start my radiation which was completed on 12th December the day before I left for Israel for my daughter’s wedding.  This would be my celebration of beating and surviving cancer.

When I returned, I was put on medication for 5 years which had many side effects but through the encouragement of my family, my wonderful oncologist and radiologist, I decided I was going to go through this journey.

I returned to my teaching during radiation and not once during any of my treatments did I ever go alone.  I realised my faith in humankind never failed me and the power of prayer from all over the world, my brothers live in the USA and they formed prayer groups.  I do have to tell you I have a mother who is 90 years young today and her love and care played a major role in my healing.

At the end of February this year I had completed my treatment and I have learnt nothing is impossible.

Life is a journey, follow the road and you will succeed. Be positive, and don’t take your health for granted.

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