National Cancer Survivor Month | 01 July 2020
Queency Salomon: “Accepting the facts of the diagnosis is extremely vital. Only then can you lead the road to recovery…”
In collaboration with the Cancer Concern Organisation (CCA), we have brought you stories about our brave cancer survivors and how they are coping with life. A survivor is anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer and survived, but even survivors have lasting effects on their lives left by the cancer, and this can affect them and their family in numerous ways. It is not easy for the survivors to talk about their experience and we are grateful to those who had the courage to share their stories with our readers. Today we are running the last survivor’s story and we are chatting with Queency Salomon, a 54-year-old lady who has overcome colon cancer.
Seychelles NATION: Please tell our readers who is Queency?
Queency Salomon: My name is Queency Salomon and I am 54 years old and a cancer survivor. I live at Au Cap and have been working for Air Seychelles for 29 years. I am someone who enjoys music and watching television.
Seychelles NATION: How and when did you discover you had cancer?
Queency Salomon: When I was 47 years old, I noticed a change in my skin pigmentation and it would become irritated. At that time, I did not think much of my skin condition and thought that it was allergies. I went to the doctors several times but no definite diagnosis was ever given for my condition. When I turned 50, I observed more irregularities, there was blood in my stool. I knew something was wrong and so I went to the doctor. In July 2016, I was diagnosed with colon cancer.
Seychelles NATION: What where your first reactions and how did you deal with it?
Queency Salomon: During the time of my diagnosis, I was following a very educational programme on SBC about cancer. With the programme my knowledge of cancer remarkably grew, so much so that when I was diagnosed, I had already known about my condition and diagnosis. As a result, I was not scared. I was prepared for the diagnosis. I did not let the diagnosis scare me, I remained strong in faith and was positive.
Seychelles NATION: What were your next steps?
Queency Salomon: After I was diagnosed with cancer, my next step was to inform my family, friends and colleagues. I knew then that I would need all the support I could get.
Unfortunately, my only son was away on training during that time. However, I remained strong and prepared for my operation.
In July 2016, I had my first operation. I started chemotherapy in September of the same year and was scheduled for 12 sessions to be taken every two weeks. Unfortunately, after the 10th session, I discontinued with the chemotherapy as it made we feel very sick and the doctors had observed that it was not helping my condition.
In 2017, following a check-up in Sri Lanka, I was informed that I had cancer in my liver and was put on chemotherapy once more but this time through pills. In April 2018, I underwent a second operation and had an ileostomy.
Seychelles NATION: What has helped to overcome cancer besides chemotherapy and medecine?
Queency Salomon: I feel that my change in diet, eating healthier, contributed significantly to my recovery. I drank a lot of coconut water and consumed ‘bred moroum’.
Seychelles NATION: For how long did you take medication and how long have you been cancer free?
Queency Salomon: In total, I had approximately seventeen months of treatment. I have been cancer free since August 2018.
Seychelles NATION: Is there cancer in the family?
Queency Salomon: Yes, my mother also had colon cancer.
Seychelles NATION: What advice would you give to our readers as well as cancer patients?
Queency Salomon: The first advice and quite important is that you should not be scared of a cancer diagnosis. Secondly, accepting the facts of the diagnosis is extremely vital. Only then can you lead the road to recovery.
In addition, I strongly recommend to abide by recommendations being passed out by doctors especially regarding healthier lifestyles and diet.
Education is also very important, self-learn about your diagnosis and if you do not understand, ask questions!
Lastly, have faith as it keeps you going!
Seychelles NATION: What kind of support network did you have and how did your lifestyle changed?
Queency Salomon: My family, friends and colleagues were very supportive during my time of need. My sister was especially helpful, always ensuring I was well cared for.
My life continues, and I choose to live it to the fullest. I went back to work after my recovery and I am still working. I am more aware of my lifestyle and diet and choose to lead a healthier life.
I am now a cancer advocate. I am happy to share my story to help others. I will do whatever I can to help people in need of my assistance because I know the importance of support.
Compiled by Vidya Gappy