1Life supporting male cancer survivors this #Movember
Wilton Tshakaza is married with four children and eight grandchildren. In 1986 he was involved in a terrible motorcycle accident where he lost his leg and arm. The perspective this gave him on life meant that when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009 at the age of 57, he didn’t see it as much of a challenge.
“You see, I am an amputee,” he says. “So this never shocked me.”
Wilton is fortunate that his prostate cancer was diagnosed early, he was only in stage one. He had blood in his urine, and he knew that wasn’t a good thing, so he went straight to the hospital. His healthcare team explained what was wrong with him, and that he could choose between prostate surgery or radiation.
“I was scared of the surgery, so I chose radiation,” he says. “The doctors were very good. They prepared me and my wife for the side effects of the treatment. We had never heard of prostate cancer so we didn’t know anything about it. My wife and my children have been a great support for me.”
The radiation worked and Wilton’s cancer is now in remission. He goes for check-ups twice a year, and continues to live his life with an overwhelmingly positive outlook. One of the things that he says has helped him through it all has been to talk about it. He is involved with Campaign4Cancer and the Cancervive Soweto support group, and is active in raising awareness in the community.
“It helps a lot to talk about it. People my age don’t know what a prostate is. I wish all of us men would go and check once a year for prostate, because it’s a slow-moving cancer, but people only find out really late that they have it. Early detection is better because then they can avoid chemotherapy or surgery.”
Life has thrown serious challenges at Wilton, but positive attitude and his generosity to others continue to be an inspiration to us all.

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