Boitumelo Laletsang fought the big C and won
Her first brush with cancer was in 2004 as a 24 -year old young woman, when she felt a lump in her breast. Eleven years later, the gorgeous beautician, Boitumelo Laletsang is cancer free and running her own beauty Spa in Maun.
Sharing her Cancer experience, the 35-year-old mother of three said that she detected a lump in her breast but doctors assured her that it was nothing to worry about. She lived with the lump until 2009 when it became aggressive and she had to remove it. Although she was happy that she was finally going to get rid of it, doctors brought her the bad news. She had breast cancer.
“To say I was depressed and confused at that stage would be understatement. My world came collapsing around me. I lost my hair, my nails turned grey and my brain became very slow, I could hardly think. That’s one phase of my life that I will never forget,” she says with a sad fixed stare. Laletsang however quickly smiles and quips, “ But there is life after cancer.”
Going back to the story of how she fought against cancer and emerged victorious, Laletsang says three weeks after the first operation, another lump developed and she decided to have the breast removed. However the doctors advised her to remove both breasts because the chances were very high that the cancer would spread to the healthy breast.
“Having to let go of my breast plunged me into another bout of depression. I didn’t know what to do. We don’t have a history of cancer in our family but the current Member of Parliament for Maun East, Kosta Markus supported me and gave me some advice.”
Family members and friends also surrounded her with support and gave her hope that she could fight and beat the cancer.
“With my two breasts gone, I saw my dream of having more children shattered right in front of me. I love kids and although I had one already by then I still wanted more so I couldn’t give up on that dream so easily. I was determined that I would bottle feed, so I started living again and gaining strength for the purpose of having children.”
Ten years after her mastectomy, Laletsang gave birth to twins. “I haven’t had any problem in raising them and my fiancée, Tlamelo Mapila has been very supportive.”
She is currently a member of Journey of Hope Botswana, an organization of volunteers that aims to promote breast cancer awareness. “I have accepted myself and so has my fiancée and I once had a thought of having artificial breasts but I later on decided not to. I am fine the way I am I don’t need fake breasts, I have decided,” she says.
Although she is cancer free, Laletsang still goes for check ups after every six months. “I also encourage people to have medical aid because the process at government hospitals can be frustrating. Biopsy takes two weeks at government hospital while at a Private hospital it takes only two days.”