“Let your faith be bigger than your fear”.
These are the fighting words from Cancer Survivor, Stella Lemisio - Sio.
Ms. Sio told the Weekend Observer that she was saved as a result of her cancer being detected early, when she discovered an unusual lump on her left breast.
As Samoa gets behind Pinktober to promote the importance of being tested and getting treated early, Ms. Sio talks about the importance of early detection and how it can save people.
“It was just last year when I felt an unusual lump on my left breast,” she said.
“It was making me uncomfortable and so I quickly went to see my doctor and that’s when they sent a letter to the hospital for me to have an operation.
“I underwent tests and then I waited for about three months for the result to confirm whether it was cancer.
“After three months, I was told of the shocking news that I have first stage breast cancer.”
Ms. Sio said despite the news, she was still calm.
“When I was told of the news I wasn’t scared but I had put my faith in God that He will help me get through it,” she said.
“When I told my family, especially my husband and son, they took it in slowly but never showed any worried impression.
“Rather we stood together as a family and prayed that God will provide His healing power on me during this time.”
The Samoa Cancer Society was her first point of contact.
“I contacted the Samoa Cancer Society for help and they have helped in all possible ways by providing transportation from my place to the hospital as well as accommodation,” she said.
“I was beyond blessed for all the help from the Samoa Cancer Society as well as families there.”
She was also required to travel to New Zealand for treatment.
“When I arrived in New Zealand, I underwent all the procedures of scanning all parts of my affected breast to see if it was serious.
“The results came in and I was told that there was no need for an operation but I had to stay for radiation treatment.
“I was relieved because I knew that my family was praying for me and that God had worked his miracles on me.
“After four weeks, I returned home and up until now I am living proof that early detection can really save us.”
Ms. Sio advised women to go for checkups.
“Don’t wait around,” she said.
“If you think you have the symptoms you must go in for a checkup because it can save you.
“Breast Cancer does not discriminate; it will affect women of all ages, so go check yourself and don’t be embarrassed.
“Talk to a doctor or a specialist.”