*Pamela on her wedding day*
AS the new risk figures emerged – on World Cancer Day – a Scots mum told how the support of her loved ones helped her beat the disease.
Pamela Souttar, now 33, was told at 30 that she had breast cancer. She had a lumpectomy and chemotherapy, then a double mastectomy to stop it coming back.
Her family’s love gave Pamela courage throughout her ordeal. And she teamed up with sister Allana yesterday to model Cancer Research UK’s new Unity Bands, which symbolise how uniting against cancer can help patients win their battles.
Pamela, from Aberdeen, said: “My sister and I weren’t best friends when we were growing up. When we were kids, I put a lock on my wardrobe to stop her borrowing my clothes.
“But we’re so close now and she’s been a brilliant support, so there’s definitely strength in unity to get through cancer.”
Pamela, mum to Kieran, 13, and Harrison, three, was diagnosed in January 2013. It was a nightmare time for husband Alan, 33, whose mum died in her 30s from the disease.
But the family rallied round and Pamela vowed to never give in to cancer. She said: “My choice was to try not to let it change me.
“If I had to wear a wig, I was determined to make it a really glamorous wig. I wanted to take any negative thrown at me and turn it in to a positive.”
Pamela is now looking forward to being Allana’s bridesmaid at her wedding this summer. She said: “I’m so excited. It feels amazing to be well again to celebrate with her.”
Today is celebrated as World Cancer Day. I know you might be wondering why Cancer of all things should be celebrated but here is the deal, it is celebrated annually to deepen our understanding of the killer disease.
I learnt Nigeria has the highest Cancer Death Rate in Africa.
I did not feel like writing a fiction today.
I haven’t lost any one to cancer but I know friends who have. I know what they went through emotionally and psychologically. I could only imagine the pain.
I have met people who have triumphed over this killer disease. They held on to the end. But they did not do it on their own. No! I don’t think they would have made it on their own. What they had working for them apart from their sheer self determination to fight on was their ‘family’. The love and support of their family really helped them throughout this period. They had something to hold on to, ‘Family’.
Being family does not necessarily mean you must be a biological brother or sister, uncle or aunt, mother or father; being family transcends all the biological connections attached to the composition of a family. It is more like being a friend and going out of your way to show love and support.
Talking of support, it also extends to reading and creating awareness about this monster called Cancer.
We celebrate today because ‘this heinous disease like all the others that plagued man before it will also pass away’.
A man I respect a lot Mr. Fela Durutoye tweeted this today:
“#Malaria was once a Terminal disease but it was #NotBeyondUs.
One day,# Cancer will be just like malaria, #EASY2TREAT.”
As we join the world to celebrate the intending downfall of this giant, I want you to make up your mind to show love and support to people with cancer. Pray for them! Be the shoulder they could rest On! Be their ‘family’!
It is also important to go for check up and to eat right and to check mate the raise of this giant.
*Pamela’s story is culled from The Scottish Daily Record.
*I won’t be publishing for a while because of a project I have at hand but I promise to make up for my absence when I eventually return.