#ImHopeful Retha

Update posted by Bettie Hough On Mar 02, 2021



Our ME, Cancer and COVID warrior is chatting to us on her way to her last chemotherapy session.

If the chemotherapy is successful, she will be in line for an operation to remove the tumours.

Thank you for your donations, good wishes and prayers. You are helping to keep Retha’s fighting spirit alive! She has just lost a good friend due to cancer, so she need our support more than ever.

Any amount is gratefully received and utilised to help our own Florence Nightingale Retha to fight back. Our anonymous fairy godmother will quadruple all donations until the end of March.

For regular updates and interaction, visit our Facebook Page “My Friend Retha” at https://www.facebook.com/myfriendRetha

To contribute to Retha’s medical treatment and care

https://gogetfunding.com/imhopeful-retha/

#ImHopeful

#covid19

#braveheart

#wecandothis

#RedeemRetha

#awayforward

#qualitylife

#goals

#cancercare

#MillionsMissing

#FlorenceNightingale

#MECFS

#love

#actsofkindness



https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipNzm0STig2HYvFVcDpAgeVf7C7rVvV45ekG1VKUN5Rgnev_HaxiM2B9P_NvJ83qRQ/photo/AF1QipNeqiLegEtUBKCA2wt3E27FRn7DfnwPFvlkUswo?key=eGd0dnNpeU9yODJaQnRqSFV6d1A3bmJCVTBtUmln

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Update posted by Bettie Hough On Feb 02, 2021

Health Update for our own Florence Nightingale Retha

Our ME, Cancer and Covid warrior Retha has now survived cancer for one year and three months. That is a considerable achievement. There were highs and lows in her journey. She was briefly in remission for a few months, but when cancer returned in full force, she bravely started chemotherapy again. The first few chemotherapy rounds after the remission period were not very successful, so she is facing much more harsh treatment.

Both Retha and her husband got Covid 19 recently. Her husband. Boet ended up in hospital but is now back home, He is still on Oxygen but getting better. Retha has now recovered from Covid. She miraculously did not have it as bad as her husband. She is however in a ME crash/flare, and because her chemotherapy had to be postponed, her cancer got a lot worse. The malignant ascites has returned in full force with a threat to her lung function. Retha jokes that she looks seven months pregnant and that it is time to get that baby out!

Retha will be restarting chemotherapy again today. I have never seen anyone so happy to get her body poisoned!

Since our last appeal 22 December until end of January, you have kindly donated $1021 or R15100. Our anonymous generous fairy godmother from the UK has tripled that amount as promised and has donated $3000 [R45000] offline. That gives us a total of R60000. This is amazing. We want to thank you all so much. It means that Retha’s next two chemotherapy sessions can be paid for. If chemotherapy has the desired results and the tumours shrink enough, an expensive operation will be needed.

Our fairy godmother has made us another incredible offer. For the month of FEBRUARY, SHE WILL DONATE 4 TIMES THE AMOUNT THAT YOU DONATE.

That will give our fund a massive boost, and the life-saving operation will become a reality. Don't be shy. If you donate $5, it will translate to a $20 donation.

We want to thank the ME community worldwide, friends and family who have been kindly supporting Retha in her journey. You have kept her alive, not only by donating to her treatment, but also by encouraging her with your interest, good wishes and prayers. You helped her to keep on fighting, and she has been surviving everything that ME, Cancer and Covid threw at her the past year. That is a miracle.

I have been in regular contact with Retha, and I am always touched and amazed about how she is interested in me and my health. I have never met such a strong, brave and inspirational person in my life before. We share a wicked sense of humour and send each other jokes on whats app that definitely could not be shared on Facebook. It is a privilege to know Retha, and I hope by following My Friend Retha you have been getting to know her and that the way she is dealing with all the challenges in her life is inspiring you to keep fighting your health challenges. Retha has taught me not to give up!

Please donate and share this fundraiser to keep Retha’s light shining bright.

For regular updates and interaction visit our Facebook Page “My Friend Retha” at https://www.facebook.com/myfriendRetha

To contribute to Retha’s medical treatment and care

https://gogetfunding.com/imhopeful-retha/

#ImHopeful

#braveheart

#wecandothis

#RedeemRetha

#awayforward

#qualitylife

#goals

#cancercare

#MillionsMissing

#FlorenceNightingale

#MECFS

#love

#actsofkindness#covid19

Photo of Retha’s tummy protruding with malignant ascites

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Update posted by Bettie Hough On Jan 20, 2021

Health Update for Retha with ME, Cancer and Covid 19

The Good news is that our ME, Cancer and now Covid warrior Retha is well enough to have made this graphic and give me the update herself. Her voice was a bit hoarse, but the spark was still there.

Retha’s husband Boet is being discharged from hospital today, and Retha is so grateful. She was alone at home, so it is so much better that they are together again

Retha says that their symptoms are very similar to M.E. She has a sore throat, sinus feeling, terrible headache, body aches and pains, and has been nauseous for two days. She started coughing three days ago, and her SATS [oxygen saturation] went down to 87. They were very fortunate to finally get a rental oxygen machine as they are challenging to obtain. Retha does not have a high fever, but a typical ME low-grade fever. Her husband lost his sense of smell and taste on day 10, Retha can't smell as her nose is blocked, but she can still taste! She is exhausted.

Retha says: The best advice is always REST, lie as much on your tummy as possible, inhale deeply, hold your breath for 15 seconds, and then a long exhale.

Hang in there, most people with Covid survive. I genuinely hope that I will NOT develop Long Covid. My most profound appreciation for all your support. Trusting all goes well I will have chemo again on 2 February.

Thank you for your donations, good wishes and prayers for the past few days. You are helping to keep Retha’s fighting spirit alive!

Any amount is gratefully received and utilised to help our own Florence Nightingale Retha to fight back. Our anonymous fairy godmother will triple all donations until the end of January.

For regular updates and interaction visit our Facebook Page “My Friend Retha” at https://www.facebook.com/myfriendRetha

To contribute to Retha’s medical treatment and care

https://gogetfunding.com/imhopeful-retha/

#ImHopeful

#covid19

#braveheart

#wecandothis

#RedeemRetha

#awayforward

#qualitylife

#goals

#cancercare

#MillionsMissing

#FlorenceNightingale

#MECFS

#love

#actsofkindness

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Update posted by Bettie Hough On Jan 18, 2021

Breaking News

Our ME and cancer warrior Retha has tested positive for COVID19. This is profoundly concerning news. Retha is in the midst of a round of chemotherapy sessions to bring down her cancer markers and get rid of the malignant ascites bothering her. She now has to fight COVID19 too. This means that Chemotherapy has been stopped until she recovers from the virus.

To make things worse, her husband Boet, who takes care of her, has been diagnosed with Covid 19 before her and is seriously ill. He has been taken to hospital today.

Retha is anxious about her husband. She says that all your support, messages, prayers and financial help keeps her going, but she needs us more than ever now. Retha is still at home and has started the treatment protocol for COVID 19. She might need to get hospital treatment as time goes on. I will keep you updated.

Any amount would be gratefully received and utilised to help our own Florence Nightingale Retha to fight back. Our anonymous fairy godmother will triple all donations until the end of January.

For regular updates and interaction visit our Facebook Page “My Friend Retha” at https://www.facebook.com/myfriendRetha

To contribute to Retha’s medical treatment and care

https://gogetfunding.com/imhopeful-retha/

ImHopeful

#braveheart

#wecandothis

#RedeemRetha

#awayforward

#qualitylife

#goals

#cancercare

#MillionsMissing

#FlorenceNightingale

#MECFS

#love

#actsofkindness

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Update posted by Bettie Hough On Jan 12, 2021

Here is a new episode of our ME and cancer warrior Retha’s blog. It is informative and powerful, hopeful and poignant. Please read it and share.

https://mecancerblog1.wixsite.com/blog/post/valida...

For regular updates and interaction visit our Facebook Page “My Friend Retha” at https://www.facebook.com/myfriendRetha

To contribute to Retha’s medical treatment and care

https://gogetfunding.com/imhopeful-retha/

Any donations received will still be tripled until end of January. Retha needs money urgently to continue with her cancer treatment.

#ImHopeful

#braveheart

#wecandothis

#RedeemRetha

#awayforward

#qualitylife

#goals

#cancercare

#MillionsMissing

#FlorenceNightingale

#MECFS

#love

Retha says:

“As mentioned before, my cancer has returned with a vengeance. Unfortunately, it hasn't responded to the news cycle of chemotherapy I started in October. I have had three sessions of the then planned 6. However, the results weren't as expected. More information has been posted on the Facebook Page "My Friend Retha Viviers".

In a nutshell: I have now started with a new treatment plan on 29 December in Cape Town hoping that the vast tumours will shrink so that surgery will be possible. In total, I have now completed 11 rounds of chemotherapy since February 2020. My next one is scheduled for 19 January.

I am finding the "recurrence" of my cancer difficult on various levels. Although I remain hopeful and am putting up a fight as before, it is as if it is more difficult emotionally. I don't know if this time of the year (Christmas/the beginning of a new year, a continued pandemic) is more difficult when facing a severe illness.

It reminds me vividly of how much everybody with chronic illnesses suffers daily. As often is said no matter your suffering, for the individual, it remains a mountain they HAVE to climb daily. The image below explains different types of days whilst having a chronic illness. The thing is you never know in advance what kind of day tomorrow will be.’

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Update posted by Bettie Hough On Dec 31, 2020


Our own Florence Nightingale, Retha, has just completed a chemotherapy session. She is feeling exhausted and nauseous but is optimistic and looking forward to the New Year.

I have been in close contact with our ME and cancer warrior, Retha, the past year and have learnt so many things. The one thing that struck me is that Retha does things that matter with whatever energy or strength she may have. This is why she has achieved so much in her life despite having ME and now also cancer. Her strength and positivity continue to amaze me. We share a wicked sense of humour, and we send each other jokes and stories on what’s app. Although I am sad to witness Retha’s suffering, she peps me up and keeps me positive.

A heartfelt thank you for 17 kind and generous donors who have donated 450 dollars the past week. With our benevolent anonymous fairy godmother tripling all the funds we receive until the end of January, the 450 dollars has now turned into $1350 or almost R20000. Chemotherapy costs R30000 a pop, so it means that Retha can enter the New Year reassured that her next chemotherapy treatment would be paid for through your generosity and kindness. Thank you for all the good wishes, messages of encouragement and prayers. You all have done something that mattered.

We want to wish you the best New Year possible and that you will be able to do the things that matter to you. 2021 may still be a challenging year with the pandemic still going strong, but we are warriors, and we will get through it.

For regular updates and interaction visit our Facebook Page “My Friend Retha” at https://www.facebook.com/myfriendRetha

To contribute to Retha’s medical treatment and care

https://gogetfunding.com/imhopeful-retha/

#ImHopeful

#braveheart

#wecandothis

#RedeemRetha

#awayforward

#qualitylife

#goals

#cancercare

#MillionsMissingx

#FlorenceNightingale

#MECFS

#love

#actsofkindness

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Update posted by Bettie Hough On Dec 31, 2020


Our own Florence Nightingale, Retha, has just completed a chemotherapy session. She is feeling exhausted and nauseous but is optimistic and looking forward to the New Year.

I have been in close contact with our ME and cancer warrior, Retha, the past year and have learnt so many things. The one thing that struck me is that Retha does things that matter with whatever energy or strength she may have. This is why she has achieved so much in her life despite having ME and now also cancer. Her strength and positivity continue to amaze me. We share a wicked sense of humour, and we send each other jokes and stories on what’s app. Although I am sad to witness Retha’s suffering, she peps me up and keeps me positive.

A heartfelt thank you for 17 kind and generous donors who have donated 450 dollars the past week. With our benevolent anonymous fairy godmother tripling all the funds we receive until the end of January, the 450 dollars has now turned into $1350 or almost R20000. Chemotherapy costs R30000 a pop, so it means that Retha can enter the New Year reassured that her next chemotherapy treatment would be paid for through your generosity and kindness. Thank you for all the good wishes, messages of encouragement and prayers. You all have done something that mattered.

We want to wish you the best New Year possible and that you will be able to do the things that matter to you. 2021 may still be a challenging year with the pandemic still going strong, but we are warriors, and we will get through it.

For regular updates and interaction visit our Facebook Page “My Friend Retha” at https://www.facebook.com/myfriendRetha

To contribute to Retha’s medical treatment and care

https://gogetfunding.com/imhopeful-retha/

#ImHopeful

#braveheart

#wecandothis

#RedeemRetha

#awayforward

#qualitylife

#goals

#cancercare

#MillionsMissingx

#FlorenceNightingale

#MECFS

#love

#actsofkindness

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Update posted by Bettie Hough On Dec 22, 2020


With Christmas approaching it will be a year since our own Florence Nightingale, Retha has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It was a roller coaster journey with highs and lows. Reha does not have medical aid/health insurance and with advanced stage 4 cancer, her prognosis was bleak. She would not have survived to celebrate another Christmas without treatment.

Retha is a well known advocate in the ME community, and we rallied around her. The ME community contributed from all over the world to our crowdfunding page. We are incredibly grateful to an anonymous donor from the UK who contributed very generously throughout our campaign. To our great relief, we received enough money to enable Retha to access private treatment

In June Retha joyously rang the bell after six sessions of chemotherapy. Her cancer markers were very low; the malignant ascites, which causes so much suffering, was almost gone. Our own Florence Nightingale returned to helping the ME Community with new vigour. That was a tremendous high.

Unfortunately, as is the case with cancer, tumours started to grow again, her cancer markers increased, and the malignant ascites made an unwelcome return. Retha courageously had another three chemotherapy sessions, but her cancer, unfortunately, hasn't responded to the last three cycles of chemotherapy treatment.

As a result of her friendship with a fellow ME patient, she was referred to a team of doctors in Cape Town. They have done blood tests, a CT scan and devised a new plan of treatment for Retha.

She will be starting with this new treatment plan on 29 December. After three cycles of treatment, another CT scan will be performed to see whether the tumours have shrunken. If they have, surgery will take place, if not a different treatment plan will most likely be introduced.

The CT scan performed last week showed two large masses within the pelvis; these originated again from the ovaries. There is also now cancer on the colon, and she has no small amount of abdominal and pelvic ascites. There is a risk of obstruction in her intestines, but we are hopeful that the new treatment plan will eliminate this risk.

Retha remains hopeful. She says she hasn't come this far only to come this far! She is holding onto the words of Mandy Hale "when nothing is certain, anything is possible".

#Imhopeful

We have been impressed and amazed at Retha’s mental strength, courage and positivity through her ordeal this year. Its difficult enough to deal with the symptoms of ME but to have a life-threatening disease on top of ME in the middle of a pandemic is another matter!

All these tests and treatments cost money, so we ask our ME community to help once again. We have a donor who will triple each donation until the end of January. This is the season for giving, and I cannot think of a more deserving person than Retha.

As you can see from the photos your contributions gave Retha the gift of life and time. She could spend time with friends and family, she could work for the ME community and was able celebrate her 54th birthday.

With your help, Retha may survive to celebrate another birthday and Christmas next year.

For regular updates and interaction visit our Facebook Page “My Friend Retha” at https://www.facebook.com/myfriendRetha

To contribute to Retha’s medical treatment and care

https://gogetfunding.com/imhopeful-retha/

#ImHopeful

#braveheart

#wecandothis

#RedeemRetha

#awayforward

#qualitylife

#goals

#cancercare

#MillionsMissing

#FlorenceNightingale

#MECFS

#love

#actsofkindness

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Update posted by Bettie Hough On Oct 27, 2020

Our ME andcancer warrior Retha has reached another milestone. It is her birthday on the 28th of October.

At the beginning of the year when Retha was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer, it was doubtful if she would reach this birthday. Retha does not have medical aid [insurance] and could not access effective treatment.

We started fundraisers to help her access private tests and treatments. The ME community and friends rallied around with support and Retha got excellent private treatment. She was a good candidate for Chemotherapy, and after six sessions, her cancer markers were sufficiently down that she could joyously ring the bell. The magic word remission was bandied about.

Retha returned to her life as ME advocate with renewed vigour.

1 She started a regular ME/Cancer blog which was well-received throughout the world.

2 She was back working hard, educating and helping people with ME through the ME/CFS Foundation. Retha helped a family who was living in a Wendy house to acquire another room and to make it much more comfortable

3 She taught herself to make graphics and is busy renewing the website of the ME /CFS Foundation

4 She started a drive to get donations for the Foundation to help people with ME to access doctors, buy medication and necessities like food

4 Retha is active again on quite a few pages which she admins. I know that she is in regular contact with people who need help or advice or even just a listening ear. She has started doing Saturday morning VIRTUAL calls for ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia and other chronic illness patients. It has become the highlight of the week for some people and beautiful friendships have and are being formed. A platform similar to ZOOM (called Jitsi Meet) is being used.

5 She did a photoshoot with Jade & Valvet - a lovely boutique with stores in Johannesburg and Cape Town area. This will be used to raise awareness of ME, especially in South Africa.

I'm always amazed at Retha’s mental strength and courage despite all the challenges that she is facing.

Unfortunately, this period of remission has come to an end after six weeks. Her cancer markers have gone up, and Retha started a new round of chemotherapy last week. She will be receiving six sessions and will be suffering the unpleasant side effects once again. Retha says that last week’s chemo session hit her hard.

Despite all this, Retha stays positive; she did not only coin the phrase #Imhopeful, but she lives it. When she lost her hair quickly with the previous round of chemo, she joked that she is happy with that. If chemo can do that to her hair, imagine what it is doing to cancer!

Retha says that she is beyond grateful for all the support she has received and is continuing to receive. She never knew there were so many kind-hearted people in the world

The best birthday present would be to ring that bell once again and go into remission.

Retha, we hope that you will have the best birthday possible with your loved ones, even with side-effects from chemotherapy.

  • We are hopeful with you that the chemotherapy will kick cancer‘s butt and that you will have many birthdays in the future.

You are such inspiration. Thank you for everything you are doing for people with ME in South Africa and all over the world.

We love you and will support you in every way possible.

Happy Birthday 🎉 🎂🌈🎁

For regular updates, testimonials and videos on what our ME and Cancer warrior Retha did to help others visit our Facebook Page “My Friend Retha” at https://www.facebook.com/myfriendRetha


#ImHopeful

#braveheart

#wecandothis

#RedeemRetha

#awayforward

#qualitylife

#goals

#cancercare

#MillionsMissing

#FlorenceNightingale

#MECFS

#love

#actsofkindness

The photos tell the story of Retha’s cancer journey From almost no hope in January to remission a few months ago. She even did a photoshoot to raise awareness for people with chronic illnesses.

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Update posted by Bettie Hough On Oct 07, 2020

Unfortunately our brave ME and Cancer warrior Retha is still battling cancer on top of ME as well as some other health issues that have arisen. Retha will start chemo sessions again and needs our support.

For regular updates, testimonials and videos on what our ME and Cancer warrior Retha did to help others visit our Facebook Page “My Friend Retha” at https://www.facebook.com/myfriendRetha

Thank you Retha’s for writing this influential blog on Cancer and ME. It is well worth reading.

“Dear Readers

Thank you so much for reading my blog. Please have a look at the rest of the blog site, and I have added information under the sections on the menu bar. I.e. About me, Info on my cancer and Info on M.E. and The ME CFS Foundation South Africa.

Apologies for the long post.

Section 1 - Cancer

As mentioned before, I completed six rounds of chemotherapy on 1 June 2020. I rang that bell with such joy.

My CT scan of 1 July 2020 was clear, except for my kidneys which were both enlarged. There was also still some ascites (cancer fluid) in my right lung and around my spleen. Hydronephrosis is the swelling of a kidney due to a build-up of urine. It happens when urine cannot drain out from the kidney to the bladder from a blockage or obstruction. Stents were inserted from my kidneys to my bladder so that the kidneys could drain. It was extremely uncomfortable, and after eight weeks they were removed. However, the urologist did mention my kidneys weren't 100% yet.

I had to go for monthly blood tests to monitor the cancer markers. Unfortunately, my cancer markers started increasing from the first round of blood tests. I now need to undergo more chemotherapy sessions to stop the growth of the cancer. I will be undergoing 6 more chemotherapy sessions starting the week of 19 October 2020. My hair will fall out again. My colon seems to have a hard time doing its work, the oncologist says it is very possible that there is some cancer on the outside of it, hence the symptoms I am experiencing. I am sure the chemotherapy is going to take care of any cancer left in my body. “

https://mecancerblog1.wixsite.com/blog/post/the-ca...

#spoonies #millionsmissing #severesocialdistancing #indefinitelockdown #ImHopeful #pwME #cancer #awareness #advocacy #chronicillness #chronicpain #warriors

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Angie Joy

Backed with $100.00 On Feb 25, 2021

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Sending love, hugs & best wishes to Retha, from Australia! 💜🌺🇦🇺

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Jim and Pam Lutey

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Good luck Retha

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Retha, my prayers are with you. You are a warrior!

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Keep fighting Retha. Every day is a day to build memories with your family.

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Backed with $15.00 On Jan 19, 2021

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