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Fighting back

After being diagnosed with lymphoma, Lizanne Joubert came out standing strong and moving forward at a fast pace. This superwoman shares her story.

Her energy is palpable as she describes her journey with cancer.

“A few years ago, at the age of 23, I quickly started losing weight. I also seemed to be out of breath doing simple things such as walking a few stairs. Thinking I was merely unfit, I ignored it at first.

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“After googling my symptoms I decided to go to my doctor. He sent me for a sonar and picked up lymphoma and wanted to book me into hospital. Talk about bad timing to discover something like this.

“ It was the day before a long weekend and I had plans. Long story short that night we were involved in a car accident and I was admitted to hospital. I went for another scan when the radiologist confirmed I had a tumour in my heart. I wasn’t too shocked but wanted to get the process rolling as it was an inconvenience.

“A few weeks after my diagnosis I started with chemotherapy. My life did not stop because of cancer, I still got married to my soul mate, Werner. He was my first ‘real’ love, and together we journeyed down the road of recovery.

“A few months later I was readmitted to hospital and had to start with in-hospital chemotherapy. After chemo, a stemcell transplant followed and then another month of radiation.

“Once the medical procedures were completed, I continued with my life, but the cancer returned after a year and a half. It was challenging to accept I had to drink from the same cup again. I had to star t with chemo and radiation again. Apart from this, I had outstanding medical bills needing to be paid. Employees at my workplace at the time each contributed a portion of their salary to help me. I also had great help from our wonderful community.

“I am celebrating my third year in remission. What a blessing!”

Despite these challenges, Lizanne is moving forward with her head held high. Life after breast cancer has brought some changes.

“After qualifying to be a nail technician, I decided to leave my job and pursue a career in
beauty. I opened my own nail studio, LJPND Boutique Nails.”

To date, she has inspired many others with her fantastic work and by looking at her Instagram she certainly has many followers.

“Cancer in some ways has allowed me to review my goals and follow my dreams. I am positive and look forward to the future. These days I spend my time wisely, doing what I do best, staying humbly on my knees and fighting back.”

Lizanne in short:

I unwind by … just relaxing at home, inviting friends over for a braai or catching the latest series on television.

I enjoy … a good cup of coffee, biltong and food (just as long as I don’ t have to cook it).

I love animals … especially my Boston Terrier, Katy.

Did you know:

September is Lymphoma Awareness Month.

Lymphoma is one of the most prevalent forms of blood cancer, which itself represents the fifth most common cause of cancer death worldwide.

Each year, it is estimated that more than 400,000 people are diagnosed with lymphoma, yet this complex group of diseases has a relatively limited understanding among the general public.

Text: Lize-Maré Landsman. Photos: Rentia Smith Photography.

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