Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 25th 2015 Contents SIX MONTHS AGO, Raelecia Husbands' life took an
At only 24-years-old, she was diagnosed her with sar-
coma (cancer) and required emergency surgery to
save her life. The dismal news came as quite a sur-
prise to Husbands, her family, friends, and even her
doctor. A nail technician and makeup artist, Husbands
has always been active, and says there was no sign
that anything was wrong --- except for a small lump
behind her left leg which she first discovered about a
Sarcoma is a rare kind of cancer that grows in con-
nective tissue. There are no tests that can find these
tumours before they cause noticeable symptoms.
Doctors say there are over 50 types of sarcomas, but
they are still unsure as to what causes them.
"When I saw the lump, I didn't take it on. It was so
small. I remember thinking it was probably just a
strain from a Zumba class I did the day before," a can-
did Husbands tells WOW in a recent interview.
She continued to ignore the lump for the next six
months --- until one day when it suddenly became
larger, and painful.
"That's when I finally decided to get an ultrasound.
When I took it back to my doctor, she didn't know
what it was. She recommended that I get a second
opinion, and said that I would most likely need a minor
procedure to remove the growth," she recalls.
One month later, Husbands saw another doctor at
the St Clair Medical Hospital, hoping to get a diagno-
sis. "When he saw the lump, he told me he never saw
anything like it. He said if I was older he would be wor-
ried that it was cancer, but because I'm so young, he
wasn't," she says.
Still uncertain as to what the strange growth really
was, Husbands was instructed to do a Magnetic Res-
onance Imaging (MRI) the following day. The results
brought to life her biggest fear: the growth was can-
"When the doctor saw the MRI he said the lump
needed to be gone, like, yesterday," she says. Three
days later, the mother of one underwent surgery to
remove the sarcoma. The operation was successful,
but recovery was difficult and agonizing.
"I had to learn to use my leg all over again, because
they removed a piece of muscle which was attached
to the cancer." She adds, "It slowed me down a lot. It
was like learning to walk again."
Although the cancer was removed, doctors recom-
mended that Husbands undergo chemotherapy and
radiation treatments, as sarcomas can grow back in
different parts of the body.
Cancer treatment is expensive. One chemotherapy
session, Husband explains, can cost up to $6,000,
while radiation treatment can cost as much as
$5,000 for a single session. Husbands' treatment re-
quires 30 sessions.
To help offset medical expenses, her friends have
been chipping in. In November, they held a charity
event, called Hope, in her honour at Rossco's Lounge
in Woodbrook. However, after doing only two
chemotherapy sessions at the St James Medical
Complex, she is now forced to source the treatment
on her own as it is no longer available at the hospital
--- or any public or private institution.
"I'm really supposed to be doing the chemo all now,
because there can still be cancer cells living in my
body, but the cost internationally is so expensive, I
have to wait to get the funds for it."
Despite her gloomy circumstances, a resilient Hus-
bands vows to continue living her life to the fullest,
and remains hopeful that she will win her fight
"Sometimes the drugs I have to take have me in real
pain, but I try to smile and continue living my life," she
asserts. "People see me out here and there, but they
don't know what I'm going through. I have an eight-
year-old daughter, and people around me that I need
to be here for. I try to study that more than I study
what's wrong with me."
And even as she continues to battle her own storm,
Husbands is now helping others to battle theirs. "Re-
cently, the Just Because foundation reached out and
said there were two kids who have cancer and who
also wanted to become nail technicians when they
grew up. They asked if they could spend a day with
me so they can see my spirit and positive attitude. I
told them yes," she says.
"I really wouldn't mind mentoring kids with cancer. I
need to let them know they are here for a reason.
Their lives matter. They do have something to live for."
Want to help Raelecia Husbands financially in her
fight against cancer? Contact her at 793-6966.
| PROFILES |
8 WOW MAGAZINE
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt January 25, 2015
I really wouldn't mind
mentoring kids with
cancer. I need to let them
know they are here for a
reason. Their lives matter.
They do have something
to live for.
By Cherisse Moe
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