her.story.

Meg from Second Floor Living has an amazing story to share with you all today.
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The first time it struck it was  a rather foreign concept to my family. We had only known someone who knew someone who's friend was diagnosed with the horrid C word. Cancer. The sound of it eats at my heart.

The first time it struck, my aunt, my mother's younger sister, was the victim. Breast Cancer, the doctors said. I was in my second year of university. I remember this vividly. I shaved my head in support. My aunt lived on a farm about 300 km from my parents house, but the best doctors were in the same city as my parents. She traveled to the city every two or three weeks and got the poison eradicated with another poison. I remember what it did to her. It was summer, and as my aunt's hair started to fall out from the treatment, she would get irritated by her wig and pluck it off, mumbling profanities and as much words as the nausea would allow. Chemotherapy was hell. I could see what hell it really is. She survived. Amazing woman, my aunt. I admire her for her strength and willingness to push through, even though she was terribly ill.

Then it struck again, about a year ago. This time, it was my father's brother in law. My uncle. He had colon cancer, which is quite an aggressive cancer. But then again, which cancer isn't? He had to have surgery to remove the growth and it went successful, the complications only followed about a month later. He is cured. As my Grandma put it: "It was only God's work that he is healed. He is a healed man." The most wonderful thing was that he got his sense of taste back on Christmas Day! He could taste all the delicious dishes my family had prepared. Amazing, isn't it?

But then the ugly disease reared its head again. And this time it messed with the wrong person. The third strike was one of my best friends, Melissa, the skinniest person I know. In November she complained of constant pain in her stomach. Her doctor wrote it off as irritable bowel syndrome, three times! Eventually, she got a second opinion and they found a tumor, about the size of my fist and then some, on her ovaries. At first we hoped and prayed it was benign and just some sort of growth. Then the results came back, it was a very aggressive, very rare cancer.

I rushed to my parents' home, where she went after she got the news and we cried together for almost an hour. Why was she at my parents' house? You see, we met at varsity and she came all the way from Cape Town, where she was born and bred. She got a job in Pretoria, the same city as my parents, and they were her only support network. Her boyfriend was and is still studying, I am in Johannesburg, her parents and siblings are in Cape Town.

And then she had to undergo an operation to remove the tumor. A historectomy. Who at 24 deserves that? Who deserves cancer at this tender age?! She still has her whole life in front of her. It angers me! And it got worse! By her next appointment, the tumor had come back. Not only did it come back, it quadrupled in size. It had filled the cavity in her barren body.

Her problems were like mountains in front of her. Kilimanjaros that she had to climb with her frail and sickly body. Her parents had her at a very late age. They are both pensioners and in their 70s. She, as a newly employed young woman, did not have medical aid. She had no means of paying for the chemotherapy, which is freakin expensive. But still she fought and still God provided somehow. Every time she had to go for  therapy, an anonymous angel has donated money into her cancer fund. We pray everyday that she beats this malignant decay that's eating away at my friend. We pray everyday that she will find a way to pay for her treatment and that she can overcome all the obstacle. Please pray with me.

She is an amazing person, with so much love, laughter and energy to give. She was an amazing dancer and when she sings, I actually shut up to listen. I love my friend so much.



If you think you can help her, please check out her facebook page. Melissa Bekker Cancer Fund. You could even just pray for her. Or send her a message on facebook to show your support.