Sunday 18 April 2021
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Ravaged by cancer, yet hopeful

“As a Christian I do not just believe in signs and wait for miracles to happen, I pray for God to give me strength and give knowledge to my surgeons, oncologist and all medical staff that are helping to better my situation.”
These are the fighting words from Cancer survivor, Reverend Wilhelm Simon Hanse
A native from Mariental, Hanse was diagnosed with several cancers ranging from lungs, prostate, colon and the cerebellum cancer in not longer than five years’ time.
In April 2011 Hanse remembers falling sick which led to him being admitted in a Cape Town Hospital for seven months, the doctors diagnosed him with colon cancer.
He was on remission for six years, a period in which the various cancer types would decrease and disappear in his body but the cancer cells would remain. During this period he had a doctor who constantly monitored his condition.
The clergyman further narrated how the cancer recurred in 2017 after years of recovery.
“In October 2017, I went to visit my farm at Witbooisvlei and while there one night, I woke up with a terrible headache and I couldn’t get out of bed as I didn’t have balance in my legs, so I had to be taken to a hospital in Mariental some 70 kilomerers away, from where I was later transferred to Windhoek,” he narrates.
His headache wasn’t just a normal one, upon arrival at the hospital he was told that he needed a surgeon as soon as possible because he had a tumour on his cerebellum which could claim his life.
“I was then operated on by a neuro surgeon, Dr J Vermaak, who explained the whole situation to me and how the cancer was in its final stage.
This is also the time I was told that I had various types of cancer in my body.
Whether you are on stage one (1) or stage four (4) one has to try to get to the next day.
This is primal instinct. People always say he’s strong but what else could he do? That’s when one sees how strong he is as it is the only choice left for him.”
“As a Christian I don’t just believe in signs and wait for miracles to happen, I pray for God to give strength and give new knowledge to my surgeons, oncologists and all medical staff that are helping to better my situation.
The cancer that I had on remission, Colon cancer, triggered all the cancers because it spread all over the body from prostate, lungs, bladder and to my brain.
The doctor told me that he to remove the tumour from my head, I was then operated above the left ear on my cerebellum (small part of the brain) for the tumour to be removed,” he noted.
Hanse recalls how Dr. Tommy Van Wyk from the Namibian Oncology Centre implored him to remain strong spiritually.
“The doctor told me that he will take care of my body but I should take care of my body spiritually. Cancer did not bring me to my knees, so I still had some self-motivation.
In December last year I went to India for holidays to see how I could help myself since I read that India is second best in cancer treatment after United States of America.
I went to the hospital to seek help because I had difficulty passing urine because of my prostate and bladder problem.
I decided to find a hospital in India and see how it will help ease my situation.
After they treated me, I never complained about my bladder and prostate until this day and I remain forever grateful,” he said.
Upon his return to Namibia, Hanse returned to Namibia began the daunting chemotherapy process.
“The doctors and the medical personnel told me that there would be possible side effects that would result in hair loss, skin problems and possible weight loss.
I remember how my weight dropped from 125 kilograms to 93 kilograms because of the tablets medication I was taking.
Losing weight wasn’t really my focus, I would say I was thankful to it since it helped reduced the High Blood Pressure (HBP) and also the diabetes mellitus that I suffered from around 2011.”
I have not missed a chemotherapy session since I started because I remained hopeful.
“I got to learn that cancer is something people prefer not to talk about, I talked about it with my wife and confronted the challenges it presented head on.
“I even went as far as sharing it on Facebook because I know that it will inspire people suffering from all types of diseases so that they can remain hopeful and not give up on life.
“The Sovereign God is the sermon theme of my Cancer Walk with God, Thank you Heavenly Master for your mercy, grace, favour and faithfulness and I would also like to honour my family and everyone who has showed me tender, love and care,” he concluded while advising people of all ages to for checkups.

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