It all started when Issa found a lump in her armpit in 2021. At first she didn’t think much of it and said she “must be a mess”. But when she encounters the disease while seeing a friend again, she decides to go to the doctor anyway. He advised her to go to the hospital immediately. “I was a bit doubly so about it,” Issa admits during the interview.
She continues: “I couldn’t believe I had to go there and tried to put it straight. Breast cancer doesn’t run in my family at all. But on the other hand, it immediately occurred to me: what if I die? Then my children will never have fathers!”
In addition to mammography and ultrasound, a puncture is also performed immediately. It transpires that she does indeed have breast cancer and so the “whole circus” begins. Essa undergoes breast-conserving surgery to remove the lump, fifteen radiotherapy treatments and has to take hormones. “I’ve been stuck with it for five years. Actually I didn’t want to, but it was urgently advised.”
Issa finds it special not to leak that she is a patient, despite the fact that she often walks around Anthony van Leeuwenhoek Hospital and does not make it easy to identify her. The actress consciously chose not to share her track because she didn’t want to be labeled “pathetic” or “affected.” Or do I know too much of what is being said about me?
The scar has now healed well, but according to Issa, her breasts look different than before because they are a bit larger due to the scar tissue. “I know now that cancer doesn’t immediately mean a death sentence, but it was a wake-up call for me to better listen to my body and my feelings.”
Luckily, she has fun projects to take her mind off things, like her podcast with Marc-Marie Hoijbrigts.
“Unable to type with boxing gloves on. Freelance organizer. Avid analyst. Friendly troublemaker. Bacon junkie.”