Categorized | National News

Breast Cancer Survivor: We Need To Tell Our Stories

Seven-year breast cancer survivor Maxine Missick celebrated her 68th birthday on Saturday, a milestone she thought she would never see after being diagnosed with and undergoing surgery in 2005.

In years past, Mrs. Missick said she probably would have never even told outsiders that she had breast cancer as the disease was often kept secret “as if it were something to be ashamed about.”

But with more and more Bahamian women suffering from the disease more civic organisations are being formed to raise awareness about breast cancer and how important early detection is.

“Over the past few years I think breast cancer has been highlighted more than it has been in the past,” she said. “There’s a certain amount of awareness now especially because we have people who are breast cancer survivors who are willing to share their stories.”

“Years ago, you would not even know that someone had breast cancer, but I think it’s important that we share our experiences because it may help some other person who is going through that experience or someone who can prevent it.”

Mrs. Missick said she was diagnosed in July 2005 and had surgery a month later.

“The experience of going through breast cancer is different for different people,” she added. “For me it was not as difficult. At first it was traumatic; getting that news was a blow.”

“But the various experiences had not been difficult. The one thing I think we all need to realise is that if we detect the cancer early then there is treatment available, there is help available just like any kind of sickness. It’s not a death sentence, just another kind of sickness.”

Mrs. Missick added that once cancer patients follow their doctor’s directions and instructions and keep up with their check-ups it is easy for them to lead a normal life.

And that is exactly what she said she plans to do in celebration of her 68th birthday.

“I thank God,” she said. “I sometimes look at the newspaper or the television and I see the ages of people who have died.”

“I have been through a whole lot; I have experienced a whole lot but I am still there. I am here for a purpose, I could have just been a memory.”

The breast cancer survivor added that she thinks there is a purpose in here experiencing cancer.

“I can talk to people about this disease,” she added. “I can speak to them about losing their hair, about their nails being withered, about feeling embarrassed. I have experienced this and I want to use this experience to help someone else,” she said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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