Perhaps it is also perception, but it appears to be more females than males that are troubled by cancer in its various forms, but especially breast cancer. It does not discriminate by age or any other social or economic group…people of all walks are facing the same challenges, sometimes, resulting in death.
Now one of the latest cases diagnosed is that of a 42 year old vibrant female cricketer, who hails from Rices Village, Gingerland, Nevis. Thankfully for Rubylette Chapman, who is a self employed landscaper of ten years, emotional and financial support have been forthcoming; and this has helped to make a huge difference in how she is managing her unfortunate situation.
Her own team-mates on the St. Kitts & Nevis Force Female Cricket Team have become a source of assistance and moral support. On Monday 16th January, 2012, Captain of the SKNDF cricket team, (female), Corporal Diane Belle, presented Ms. Chapman with a cheque for EC$1,000, to go towards expenses related to her overseas travel for medical attention. The presentation was made at the offices of MiyVue.com, in the presence of other team members, including manager, Captain Ramona Isles of the Defense Force.
Team captain, Corporal Diane Wilkessaid it was necessary to come to the support of Ms. Chapman because of the closeness of the players, “First and foremost we are not just a team, we are a family and we are always there for each other, in the good times and when the bad times roll around. So we would like to continue that trend and we do not know if and when something is going to happen to one of us.”
“When I first heard about Rubylette’s condition, I was dumbfounded. I couldn’t speak and I said you are too young for this; then I realized you are never too young for anything”, said Corporal Belle.
When asked how she and the other team members have been assisting, other than financially, Wilkessaid, “As captain, (of the team), I let her know we are praying for her and that she has our support”.
Wilkessaid, “Captain Isles called me as the manager and said I think the best solution for us, is to support Ms. Chapman. She said she is going to call a meeting and (when we met), we decided to give Rubylette a little monetary support and that is what we came to do this morning.”
While accepting the cheque, Ms. Chapman thanked friends and colleagues saying, “I appreciate the help and support from the manager, captain and other members of the Defence Force team. I appreciate their support.”
Chapman said she was diagnosed with the breast cancer just over a month ago, (almost two months). She said it was said to be “one and a two stage breast cancer”.
“I leave for Cuba tomorrow morning (Tuesday 17th January, 2012) for treatment.”
Asked how she felt when the doctor confirmed she had cancer, Chapman said, “First I was surprised then I accepted the fact that I am sick and was glad that it did not go too far; that I can be helped and was important for my state of mind to be ok.”
Chapman said, now that she has firsthand knowledge of what it is like to be ill with such a serious medical problem, she would like to advise all women to take immediate action to protect themselves.
“I would like them to go and have regular mammograms and pap smears; and go to your doctor and if you’re not satisfied with your results, get a second opinion, because one might say, oh its nothing, and another one might say, let’s get a biopsy done and maybe you find out that its cancer. I would tell them to go and get their regular check-ups.”
“I have been getting support from the public and the Pink Lily Cancer Foundation in Nevis. Pink Lily has been talking to me, telling me to keep my spirits up and do not stress too much; because the cancer feeds off of stress. They call me on a regular basis to see how I am doing.”
Chapman said the whole ordeal has had a significant impact on her lifestyle and her outlook on life generally.
“Yes, well I know that I am sick and there are certain things that I have to change in order to get well and spiritually I am looking at a higher level, because without God you can’t succeed in anything and with Him anything and everything is possible. My eating habits have changed as well. If you are accustomed to eat your fatty stuff you can’t eat your fatty stuff anymore; well not as much. I now eat more green vegetables and fish.”
Her family too has been a tower of strength for her, said Chapman. “When I told them about it, they were worried. Then I told them I cannot be concerned about your stress I have to think about mine and they have been supporting me with that, but I know they are very worried about me.”
Chapman has been one of the opening batters for her cricket team, of which she has been a member for over five years. She is rated as a talented all rounder and a key player of the team, as she has demonstrated many times, including during tournaments in St. Maarten, Barbados and here at home.