Thursday, October 22, 2009
IF pain could be shared Epeli Nailolo says he would claim more than half his wife's load.
But Mr Nailolo, a Fiji Sugar Corporation welder is forced to put on a brave face while caring for his wife Raijeli Nailolo, 58, who is an advanced stage of breast cancer.
The couple have been married for 17 years and on a clear blue day in 2004 breast cancer rocked their world.
"I couldn't believe it was happening to her and even now I can't accept that she may leave us soon," he said.
Every day he shares his dream with her to encourage the woman he loves with his whole heart.
"I tell her 'don't you give up! By Christmas Eve I will see you walk in town so don't you give up!
Mrs Nailolo silently cried while her husband poured his heart out and said she wanted no one else but her husband to care for her.
When he works the night shift their daughter Mili Matarara takes care of her ailing mum.
Back from work, the Tailevu man spends most of the day making her comfortable.
"This disease has brought us together, the family closer," he said.
Ms Matarara said breast cancer doesn't only affect the patient but impacts a lot on the lives of those closest to her.
"We have to be strong for her, I've come to accept my mother's illness but that doesn't mean I give up fighting for her," she said.
"I pray, be there for her and be strong.
"Here I am trying to behave as normally as possible so that I could be strong for her but inside I feel hopeless, the kind of pain which overwhelms because who would want to lose their mother.
"It's good to have support from relatives and friends to help me through this hard time."