Alvine Kapitako Windhoek-After undergoing a mastectomy on her right breast nearly 10 years ago, Hedwig Hoveka never thought she would nurse a baby. Last November, four years after being declared breast cancer-free, Hoveka gave birth to her second healthy child, only this time she had to nurse him on one breast. “I live a normal life like other normal people. The only difference is I have one breast,” she said while nursing her three-month old baby. Hoveka first spoke to New Era in 2010 when on cancer treatment. “I go for a check-up every year and I am cancer-free,” she said. Hers was not an easy journey to recovery, reminisced Hoveka. Apart from the physical symptoms of the disease and the effects of treatment such as chemotherapy and radiation, Hoveka had to constantly battle her inner voice that questioned her womanhood with the absence of her right breast and the hair loss as a result of chemotherapy. “I used to ask myself if I would ever have children again. I asked myself if I would ever live a normal life. But I took my pain and worries to God in prayer. I accepted what I could not change and embraced a positive attitude,” she relates. With a positive attitude, Hoveka’s inner peace was restored and that was also the beginning of her physical healing. “When we think we are at the end of our road God is there to restore us,” said Hoveka who kept on stressing that her life is a “miracle”. In 2014, Hoveka got married. “My partner and I parted ways before my diagnosis and we rekindled our love after my diagnosis. He learnt of my condition through the media and word of mouth but I still asked him if he would accept me with one breast. I see he has accepted me because he would not have married me,” said Hoveka. After tying the knot, Hoveka started praying for a baby but did not give it much thought. During her annual check-up last year, Hoveka received the most unexpected news. “While undergoing the check-up the doctor suddenly had a facial expression that indicated something was not right. I was so sure something was wrong with my health because of the shock on her face and when she told me I was expecting I asked her if she was sure.” With a smile on her face, Hoveka continued: “I really didn’t expect that. That day I learned that God really exists. This is a miracle.” Before the good news, Hoveka did not experience any signs of pregnancy. And, her pregnancy was free from complications. “I delivered via caesarean section but everything else was fine. My baby lactates well. Only I now have to supplement with baby formula because he is growing,” she added. “Life has taught me that anything can happen, whether good or bad, and I have to embrace it. I have learned that with God all things are possible,” said Hoveka. She urged women to go for regular check-ups and to self-examine their breasts. “Early detection saves lives,” added Hoveka. According to the American Cancer Society, many women are able to become pregnant after treatment for breast cancer. However, some treatments can make it harder to get pregnant. Some doctors’ advise breast cancer survivors to wait at least two years after all treatment has finished before trying to get pregnant. The best length of time to wait is not clear, but two years are thought to be enough time to find any early return of the cancer, which could affect your decision to become pregnant, according to an article on the American Cancer Society website.
New Era Reporter
2018-02-13 10:10:17 11 months ago