Fighter Mabel shares her cancer journey to spread hope

​A year ago, Mabel Moshori’s life changed radically after a cancer diagnosis, but through it all she kept her unwavering faith. She has since undergone a mastectomy, completed chemotherapy and radiation. 

During the interview she is in a pink dress, and she has a big smile on her face. She says she wears her pink with pride in honour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, celebrated in October.

Her colleagues describe her as someone with a bubbly personality. She admits her cancer journey was far from easy. It was hard and at times painful, but she remained optimistic.

Mabel works as a cleaner at Metrobus in Braamfontein and has been in the employ of the City for 25 years.In November 2022, as she arrived at work, she felt a pain in her right breast. Ignoring it initially, she went about her day until the pain intensified and her breast swelled.

Unable to ignore it any longer, she went to see a doctor.The doctor referred her to Lesedi Hospital near Bara. Within a week, her life took a dramatic turn. Mabel received a breast cancer diagnosis, leading to an urgent mastectomy on 18 November 2022 to prevent the cancer from spreading.

Grappling with the news of the diagnosis and mastectomy, she became overwhelmed but knew she had to fight for the sake of her son (30) and three grandchildren. Moshori said: “I told myself I’ll be fine and I’m not going to die.” The words she whispered to herself before her mastectomy was “I’m ready for action.

She was in immense pain after her surgery and discharged from hospital two weeks later. In January 2023, her chemotherapy started at Lenmed Hospital. ​She suffered from anemia and had to receive blood transfusions. She was at her weakest and experienced nausea, lost her hair and eyelashes, felt cold and constantly tired.

By July 2023, she finally completed chemotherapy and transitioned to radiation. Radiation treatment brought its own set of challenges. She noticed her fingers changed colour and she relied on family for assistance with basic tasks as her physical strength waned, but she kept her mental strength.

“I never lost hope and kept praying and following the doctors’ instructions,” she shared.

In September 2023, Mabel celebrated the completion of her treatment stages and received a certificate of completion. During treatment she ran out of sick leave and applied for incapacity leave. She officially returned to work on 11 September.

Her responsibilities have been changed to lighter duties to accommodate her condition. Her message to women is to educate themselves on breast cancer and visit their doctor regularly for checkups or if something feels wrong. She says early detection can be a lifesaver.

Mabel has one final scan left to check the progress after her treatment. She remains hopeful and keeps her winning mindset.

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