Author and activist Zoleka Mandela has been boldy documenting some of her most intimate experiences in her battle with breast cancer on social media. The author is hoping to inspire and encourage many women finding themselves in a similar position.
Zoleka confirmed in May that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer again after discovering a lump on her breast, almost five years since she beat the disease. She has since been undergoing chemotherapy treatment and been taking her followers on Instagram on her journey, revealing her challenges with some of the overwhelming side-effects she is battling, such as hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia and urinary tract infections, among others.
The following is a series of posts she has shared on her experiences:
There goes my already none existing eyebrows too!!! 😂 Thank Heavens I won’t have to worry about waxing my beard every few weeks, when I don’t … I look like a cat fish! I have a slight moustache but I kinda like it so I don’t touch/mess with it at all. 😊 I’m 36yrs old and Menopausing for the 3rd time, some medication in Chemotherapy cause damages to the ovaries which results in Menopause. Hormonal changes caused by Menopause will result in unwanted facial hair – little hair on the upper lip and chin or a full on beard in women. It’s strange, you’ll lose the hair on your head but gain hair on your face and never mind the hot flashes, mood swings, low sex drive, insomnia, vaginal dryness, sleeping problems, losing control of the bladder, depression, urinary tract infections, skin changes which are all symptoms of Menopause. They’re all manageable, I swear! Although I don’t miss my period 😄 … fertility is an issue but I’ll remain positive because I conceived naturally after Menopausing the first time! 😜 BEATING CANCER STARTS IN YOUR HEAD, staying POSITIVE!!! So, back to the eyebrows … They’ll remain on FLEEK and I promise not to draw one line where I used to have eyebrows and call it a day! 😅 #KnowYourCancer #SilenceCancer #BreastCancerSurvivor #Recurrence #LuminalBCancer #LuminalTypeBCarcinoma #Menopause #Chemotherapy #GemCisplatin #ZolekaMandelaFoundation
Took this picture of my hand right after my 4th Chemotherapy treatment last week! The skin on my hands and feet never quite recovered from 16 cycles of Chemotherapy back in 2013. This is a side effect of the treatment, it causes discoloration or darkening of the skin and veins especially in areas that are exposed to the sun – (something to do with toxicity, inflammation or stimulation of skin colour cells.) Never leave the house without a good sun screen and hand moisturizer because Chemotherapy can make the skin more sensitive to the sun and dry … #KnowYourCancer #SilenceCancer #Chemotherapy #GemCisplatin #Recurrence #LuminalBCancer #LuminalTypeBMammaryCancer #BreastCancerSurvivor #ZolekaMandelaFoundation #ChemoSideEffects
A photo posted by Zoleka Mandela (@zolekamandela) on
I had my 3rd Chemotherapy treatment earlier today! Wait … That is not a stripper pole, you guys! 😂 It’s a medical drip stand that allows Cancer patients to move around whilst connected to the drip. My 4th treatment is next week Monday, hoping my immune system does not deplete and prevent it again. I’m feeling slightly sick but I’ve managed to come home and work on a few documents for tomorrow’s meeting! Onwards and upwards!!! 😊 #SilenceCancer #KnowYourCancer #LuminalBCancer #LuminalTypeBMammaryCancer #Chemotherapy #GemCisplatin #BreastCancerSurvivor #EarlyDetectionKeepsSavingMyLife #AlreadyBeatenByMe #ZolekaMandelaFoundation