May 19, 2023 Word for Word Media

Once Dirk Human was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he learnt quickly how imperative it was to share what he was feeling with his family for them to better understand his experience.

You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies

Dirk Wynand Human (51) lives in Pretoria, Gauteng with Angela-Lee, his wife, of 28 years. They have a 25-year-old daughter, Marilee. In January 2022 Dirk consulted his GP as he had chest pains which turned out to be stress related. Due to Dirk doing a full blood test a while back, the GP suggested…

March 31, 2023 Word for Word Media

Jocelyn Moodley tells us about her miracle surgery after being diagnosed with salivary gland adenoid cystic carcinoma and how living was far more important than her facial appearance.

You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies

Jocelyn Moodley (50) lives in Alberton, Gauteng with her husband. They have three adult children. Bump on palate In November 2005, Jocelyn felt a slight bump on her palate. When she went to a GP, he couldn’t see it, so he referred her to a dentist as he thought it was overgrowth of wisdom teeth….

March 31, 2023 Word for Word Media

Prostate cancer survivor, Allen Rizzi, has written a book to help newly diagnosed men prepare for treatment. He tells us more.

You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies

Allen Rizzi (74) lives in North Carolina, USA and Northern Italy with his wife. As I was cruising down life’s highway, I always felt pretty good about my health, often taking it for granted. I had been a professional surfer in my younger years and an outdoorsman and traveller all of my life, always eating well and exercising regularly. For the…

February 8, 2023 Word for Word Media

You can listen to this articles below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies

Single mother, Nicole Coppin, shares her story of having periampullary adenocarcinoma (a bile and pancreatic duct cancer). What is periampullary carcinoma? Periampullary carcinoma is a broad term used to define the group of carcinomas arising from the head of the pancreas, the distal common bile duct, and the first part of the small intestine. Nicole Coppin (46) lives in Edenvale, Gauteng with her 14-year-old son, Joey. In March 2016, it was found that Nicole had a tumour around her bile and pancreatic duct; this was after…

February 8, 2023 Word for Word Media

You can listen to this articles below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies

When Riaan Baatjies got his warrior-themed tattoo, in 2016, little did he know that for the rest of his life he would be a warrior, facing Stage 4 kidney cancer. He shares how he grappled with mortality but most of all is striving to be a better version of himself. Riaan Baatjies (47) lives in Discovery, Gauteng with his wife, Joselyn, and two children, aged 23 and 18.  In October 2017, Riaan was at work when he used the bathroom and urinated blood. “It wasn’t sore…

November 29, 2022 Word for Word Media
Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen shares her plight of trying to find other survivors of choroidal melanoma, a rare eye cancer that she was diagnosed with. Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen (59) lives in the Western Cape with her husband. They have two children (24 and 22). Delayed eye test Due to COVID Wilma didn’t go for her eye test screening for new spectacles for two years so this year she decided to go. “The optometrist struggled to find a reading for my right eye but told me to choose a spectacle frame while he tested my husband.  He tested my eyes again but still struggled to…

November 28, 2022 Word for Word Media
Mother of two, Rene Abdullah, tells us how she handled the loss of her career as a personal trainer after being diagnosed with EGFR positive non-small cell lung cancer. Rene Abdullah (52) lives in Bryanston, Gauteng with her husband and two children. Diagnosis Rene was diagnosed with Stage 2 EGFR positive non-small cell lung cancer in February 2010. “I was in Cape Town on holiday and started having a persistent cough. After two courses of antibiotics, I was still coughing. It was suggested that I have a chest X-ray; a small nodule on the lower lobe of my left lung was found….

November 28, 2022 Word for Word Media
Ronél Rabé shares the after effects of having two surgeries and radiation to remove basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer) from her left cheek. Ronél Rabé (58) lives in Krugersdorp, Gauteng with her husband, Frik. They have twin daughters (26). Dry patch of skin In September 2018, Ronél noticed a dry patch of skin on her left cheek. “I thought it was caused from the material of my pillow. For months, I would put cream on and it would clear up but then it would flare up again. Then Frik said it’s looking bad as it was becoming a red sore so told me to go to…

October 1, 2022 Word for Word Media

We catch up with four of our Cancer Warriors to see where they are now after overcoming cancer.

Then and Now Lawrence Brittain
Lawrence Brittain (31) lives in Johannesburg, Gauteng with his wife.  Lawrence was the first Cancer Warrior to be featured on the cover of Oncology Buddies. Since winning a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics after having Hodgkin lymphoma, he continued his rowing career, picking up great results at local and international level by representing SA every year.  The 31-year-old has taken an extended break from professional sport and is trying his hand in business.  “I have a carpentry workshop, Simply Divine Carpentry, where we…

October 1, 2022 Word for Word Media
Metastatic lung cancer survivor, Trish Blackburn, tells us why she avoids gloom and doom doctors and how she keeps on pushing on. Trish Blackburn (57) lives in Sandringham, Gauteng with her husband, Chris. They have three adult sons and one grandchild.  In November 2020, Trish experienced pain in the area of her kidneys and had shortness of breath. Since COVID was rife at this time, she went for many COVID tests, but they were negative. When the pain became unbearable, she went to hospital and was admitted.  After a scan, a lung biopsy was performed. “That biopsy isn’t recommended for sissies,”…

October 1, 2022 Word for Word Media
After a year and a half of Masesi Ndaba being in and out of hospital and told there is nothing wrong with her, she was finally diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer. She details this taxing journey. Masesi Ndaba (36) lives in Fleurhof, Gauteng with her partner and two daughters, aged 14 and six. Misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis Masesi first started experiencing chest pains in 2018. Her GP diagnosed it as acid reflux. ‘I was on medication for this for the longest time, but the chest pain only got worse,” she says. “I then got severe headaches and the doctor thought I had a skin allergy as I…

July 29, 2022 Word for Word Media
Andreas Kleynhans was first diagnosed with prostate cancer and then oesophageal cancer. He explains that how you think about your cancer determines your experience, adding that he decided to make something positive of it. Andreas Kleynhans (54) lives in Linden, Gauteng.  Prostate cancer  In March 2021, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer (Grade 1, slow-growing, small) after a routine check-up as I had an enlarged prostate for a few years already; active surveillance was advised.  Seven months later, it had metastasised to my hip bone and was Grade 4. This was devastating news as I learnt that this type of cancer…