With February being Cancer Awareness Month, 44-year-old Peter Beck has shared his experience as a cancer survivor. Beck was diagnosed with male breast cancer- Liposcroma in 2016. He said when he heard the words ‘you have cancer’ his world fell apart.
“The first thought that came to my mind was that I am going to die. After the tears, I took a decision to fight and to win. I must admit that cancer gave me a run for my money but I challenged it every step of the way. I remember one morning waking up crying feeling sick and flat and I just said aloud to myself ‘common cancer’, what else are you going to throw at me because I am waiting to fight you, ” said Beck.
He said his cancer was a lump. “I was not happy with learning that there were some of my family members previously diagnosed with cancer and being a nurse, I had it removed. It was sent to the lab for histology and I was also sent for a CT scan – a scan used to diagnose a disease, the tumour could be noticeable above the sternum on the scans and the laboratory report confirmed the diagnosis,” he said.
After having his operation, Beck said there were many challenges to face. “We are all different and react to certain treatment differently. The pain from the surgery and then ofcourse the radiation side effects were the most challenging. I hated my chemotherapy part, but I had better access. I took it step by step and managed one by one with the support from my partner and my family and my colleagues.”
He said Cancer Awareness Month is just not just any month to him. “To me, its more than just another month, it is the month that we can actually take time to remember the loved ones, friends we lost and for us to help raise funds for CANSA. Every cent raised will go towards cancer research to help find a cure. My advice to anyone who is diagnosed with any type of cancer is that take one step at a time. Yes, there will be challenges but use your support structures like CANSA, family and friends as well as support groups. You are not alone. There are many people walking with you on your journey. Giving up is easy but this journey is going to be like a Tango, one step forward, two steps back and three more forward. Also get in contact with CANSA, they have been there and are always willing to help. They provide information about all types of cancer and ways your family or carers can cope. They are always there for a kind word, an ear to listen and advice,” said Beck.
On Sunday, 3 February, Beck took part in the Gijima for CANSA fun run and walk and he shared his experience.
“Gijima for CANSA is not just a walk or run, it is a time to spend with other survivors, people that lost family members that walks in remembrance of them. The public that supports the walk and help raise funds. Lets not forget the ‘Cows’ these ladys walk in cow costumes for CHOC, They are awesome. I enjoyed the Gijima because of the people. Believe me there is a few characters dressed in bright colours and the spirit is just amazing. The encouragement is amazing but most of all, the 5km to me signifies my journey. You will have ups and downs it will get difficult, you will get tired but when you see the finish line and you cross it for a worthy cause.”