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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Surviving cancer for 13 years.............


Kicking cancer butt and keeping it away for 13 years ............Hooorrrraaayyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!

Thirteen years ago Cancer invaded my body and demanded that I suffer chemo, go through hair loss and give away one of my breast. I had to do it for my survival and did it grudgingly. I hated it with all my heart and considered BC to be one of my worst enemies ever. It went to prove me right by taking away my sister and mom in years to come.

Today after 13 years, I am sitting here and thinking. Personally, what I lost and what did I gain from breast cancer, or precisely what I gained in my life after BC.
I lost one of my breasts. I lost my hair too, but it has come back. Self confidence has grown much more than what it used to be. I value my life more now because I had to fight for it….. and that too with a demon named cancer. I feel my life is something I have earned now. I have enjoyed watching my kids grow into their teens and loved every moment of it (other than few moments like Farheena going through her surgery etc). I would never have known how wonderful my kids are and how blessed I am to have them, if I had not fought cancer furiously 13 years ago.

I turned into an extrovert after my cancer experience. It was just too much to keep in my chest and I felt my ribs breaking out. So had to pour out everything; to my amazement I found out it really felt good to share our feelings with others. I have found amazing friends in the past 13 years. I have met wonderful people who made much difference to me and my attitude towards life. They changed me into much better person by helping me to realize my own potential and resources.
When I had slipped into a great depression, one of the counselors, who used to visit us during my sisters illness suggested I go to helping hand which is a free counseling center in Bangalore. Initially I was very hesitant but when I visited helping hand, I met people who changed me for good and also made me much better person with my kids and all kids in general. I cannot forget how helpful the people at Helping Hand have been for me and my kids. They are the ones who do not give you fish but teach you fishing.

There have been friends who have made me realize that it is not necessary to berigid. Sometimes it helps to flow with the tide and enjoy life. I don't know where I would be today without the help from these people. Farheena being a special needs kid, me getting BC and losing my sister to BC all in a span of year made it very tough for me to handle it emotionally. Rizwan was being nasty and was not much help during the toughest period of my life. He chose to exhibit his worst self when I was going through worst period. May be he was not tough enough to handle the pressure cancer brings with it and also he was not willing to accept that he has a special needs child. He was living in complete denial. Strangers supported me emotionally where my close ones failed. At times they ended up by hurting me by saying hurting words when it could have been easily avoided.

I hear many horror tales about doctors and wonder where they are... All the doctors I have met so far have been very kind and helpful to me. Most of them are like good friends I consult when I am in doubt about decisions.
I have wonderful friends half way across the globe who I may never have met if not for cancer. I don't like having cancer but when I think what I would have missed in life if not for cancer then maybe I don't hate it totally. I hate it and there is no doubt about it. I have found morefriends recently who have been through this ordeal like me. It amazes me to see how quickly we bond together, even though we have a grand canyon of difference between our cultures and lifestyles.

As a kid I had a dream of visiting Disney World. I am cartoon and comic book lover and wanted to be in their world sometime. Always wondered whether that would ever happen...
Rayyan’s dream was NYC; as far back as I can remember he always wanted to see NYC. I still cannot believe that we realized our dreams last year. The most shocking part was Rizwan willing to give consent to our visit to USA and also providing the tickets first to USA and then to Disney World. How things were set in right place all through our tour is amazing. We got to enjoy the fireworks on 4th of July from the best view possible in Philadelphia courtesy of another survival friend Judy. There were amazing people who accompanied us and made our Disney World trip totally enjoyable.

I know that there are times when I bitch, groan and moan and also at times squeak and squeal LOL at life; but then I realize how much I have to feel grateful to God. I feel angry at people when they misunderstand or under estimate me and my values, or consider me helpless cancer survivor who is verge of death due to cancer any moment, but then I realize no matter what I still love them. Cancer makes it easy to forgive follies. I have known the joy of being in water and got introduced to swimming on my USA trip. Loved it a lot and miss it now.

Some may find this funny but I have found a great joy in knowing a wondermachine called computer. It was love at first touch for me. I am a woman of questions and computer with internet has most answers though not for thoseimportant questions which I have to find answer all by myself alone.

I have lived for thirteen years being NED and enjoyed my life with my children, family, friends and computer. Have loved playing games, tasted new food, dressed in a new ways and become totally non-religious person. I trust and believe in God a lot but realize I am not meant to belong to any religion. The battle has been won and has remained on my side until now and the life after cancer has been worth fighting for... so to anyone who is fighting cancer. Kick hard and fight with all your might and will power. Don't give in. I know I willnot.....


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