Nayacakalou Beats Disease


Often times, one is assigned mountains just to show others it can be moved.

This rings true for Reapi Nayacakalou who began her journey four years ago back in 2014, not long after she had celebrated her golden jubilee birthday to move the proverbial mountain in the form of cancer.

Mrs Nayacakalou began experiencing strange oc­currences taking place in her body before she started bleeding profusely.

Having reached the stage of life considered “middle age” she did not think much of it assuming she had only reached the stage of menopause, something most women in her age-group are bound to experience.

Two weeks later, however, she began passing big clots.

“And it was coming with a lot of pain so I told my husband we needed to go to the doctors because there was something seriously wrong with me.”

Weeks flew by and by then she had already held sev­eral consultations with her medical doctor.

Her results were confirmed and she dreaded return­ing to the hospital only to be relayed with the daunting news that she was diagnosed with cervical cancer.

“No matter how hard I had been preparing myself for that, at that time I felt like I was dropping into this hole that did not have an ending,” Mrs Nayacakalou said.

An instant worry entered her mind, “How am I going to tell my kids,” she thought.

“I went home to tell my husband and gave him the nitty-gritty details first on what could happen to me,” she said.

“The surgery may be successful but I might not wake up or I might bleed to death.”

“I said these are the things that you have to prepare yourself for. My husband went and got drunk for three days that was his way of dealing with it.”

She had to undergo surgery, having her uterus and ovaries removed.

“The removal of our ovaries determines us as women, it determines our sex drive, and it determines how we feel about ourselves,” she remarked.

She said the disease is very debilitating as it takes over you.

“So think about it, think about how you want your life to be. If you’ve got a relative that’s going through the same thing, tell them to go to the hospital,” she added.

She further added it was crucial to have such diseases treated while it is still in its early stages.
“I’m standing here now four years free,” Ms Naya­cakalou said.
“I still go for Pap smear, and I always encourage my little girl to go for HPV vaccination.”

She urged mothers to seize the opportunity whenever a HPV vaccination arises and take their daughters for check-up.

Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete delivered remarks at the Pinktober Morn­ing Tea event held recently at Denarau in Nadi.

Speaking to a crowd of stakeholders, he said HPV vaccination is available locally.

“It’s going to prevent a lot of young girls from getting cervical cancer as they grow older,” Minister Waqainabete said.
He said, while there is prevention for cervical cancer, there is none for breast cancer.

“Therefore, it is important to have events such as this (Pinktober Morning Tea) where we raise awareness for breast cancer,” she said.