This is me sitting next to yet another hospital bed. It is the third time for my mom in the last 8 or so months. She has cancer.

My mom is over 70. Most days you wouldn’t guess she is “that old”. You would never have guessed she already had cancer when we went to Reunion Island last year. We didn’t know. It was only 2 months (or so) after we came back that she could barely breathe, didn’t get up – and didn’t tell us.

She was rushed to hospital 56km from their home via ambulance that night. The next morning while the rest of Joburg was still tucked in bed I was already on my way back “home”. I sat next to my mom’s bed working on my laptop for a week while she was brought back from the brink.

She went through 6 monthly chemo treatments and at the end the poison destroyed more than the cancer.

Last month just as I was about to celebrate my big birthday I got yet another late night call that my mom is on her way to hospital via ambulance. We packed the kids 2 days before my birthday and rushed to Polokwane. My mom’s white blood cells were destroyed and she had no immunity and looked deathly pale with dark circles under her eyes.

It took another week before she was discharged.

Just 3 weeks later here I am again sitting next to her bed watching another bag of someone else’s blood make its way into her system. She doesn’t look as bad as the last time, but she’s smaller and older. She’s still fighting.

Currently my mom is out of hospital and at home.


Susann is a travel, parenting, beauty and lifestyle blogger in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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