Joy Pingin, 48, is a mother of six and to date is a colon cancer survivor treated with herbal medicine as there are no chemotherapy drugs at the National Cancer Center at Angau Memorial Hospital to Lae.
Ms Pingin was told by a cancer specialist in Angau in 2015 that the lack of radiation therapy in Angau also meant that she would die seeking radiation therapy there.
It was the sad reality that Angau’s radiation oncologist, the late Dr John Niblett, told Ms Pingin.
He said it took two years for the order for chemotherapy drugs to be delivered.
Ms. Pingin was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2014. Seeking treatment overseas in Manila in 2015 would cost around K 100,000 for the operation and treatment as there was no treatment in PNG.
Upon her return and so far just over two years since her operation in the Philippines, Ms. Pingin says her late-stage cancer is cured with herbal treatment.
But the ordeal she went through, passing medical checks at Angau hospital and in private clinics without a definitive diagnosis, was very painful.
âThat moment was the defining moment when I had given up all hope and accepted my death sentence,â Ms. Pingin said.
She said her persistence paid off when she ran into a family friend, who was a doctor in Lae, who referred her to another doctor for further testing, which ultimately led to her being diagnosed. colon cancer in Port Moresby.
Ms. Pingin said the cost of treatment abroad was heartbreaking as she didn’t have the money but relied on appeals and donations from caring people.
She said as she recovered from her operation in the Philippines, it was depressing to find out that even cancer radiation was not effective in PNG and that she would only go home for no further treatment.
And this has been the case so far as Ms. Pingin is recovering from herbal medication.
âImagine that! Sometimes I wonder if our politicians are robots!