I'm A Survivor!
One of the greatest accomplishments a person can face is beating cancer. Being diagnosed with cancer can change a person's life in more ways than one. As the survival rate continues to rise due to clinical trials and the many innovations and discoveries of treatment and medications, more and more people get the opportunity to hear their doctors tell them they are cancer-free, the words every cancer patient hopes to hear. We are fortunate to have the chance to hear from one of our own as she tells us her story about her experience.
Tendai Tawonezvi is a Research Pharmacist here at Reveles and she herself traveled the cancer journey and came out victorious! We have had the opportunity to speak with her briefly and gain insight from a personal perspective.
Tendai Tawonezvi was diagnosed with stage 4 Melanoma. At the time, she was very angry at the universe, but always kept these words in the back of her mind, “I have cancer, cancer doesn’t have me.” She held on tight to those word as they became her motivation, along with her favorite and only sister, Fazi Tawonezvi. Although this battle was tough on her, she believes that it was tougher for her loved ones. The helplessness took a toll on them as there was nothing they could physically do. However, she credits her family for having strong support through it all. Tendai describes herself as a “very private person” and it was quite frustrating at times because people were wanting to visit her. In addition, it was also bothersome to see pity in people’s eyes. However, after surgery, radiation, and immunotherapy, Tendai was cancer free. Her initial emotion was disbelief, but ultimately relief. While melanoma can come back, Tendai remains “cautiously optimistic”.
Support is Key
Treatment and surgery make the immune system weak and body fatigue. Having the right people in your corner will motivate you. The diagnosis alone is scary and then having to face treatment and the effects afterward is a whole different story. Having a strong positive attitude helps a great deal. We encourage anyone who is walking their journey right now that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Surround yourself with positive individuals who encourage and motivate you to keep pushing, keep fighting, and keep hoping. Your time is coming!
Happy National Cancer Survivors Day!