Hi, I am Farida. I have survived 3rd stage infiltrating breast cancer for more than 2 decades now. I was diagnosed when I was breast feeding my 11 month old baby girl whose diagnosis of being with Brain Atrophy had left me stunned just 9 months prior to my diagnosis.
Fortunately, I could hold myself together facing different adversities, the toughest being watching my sister slowly being overpowered by cancer of breast itself. Somehow I remembered that however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at any problem you face in life. I fought back, keeping aside all the fear, pain and doubts and looking up with hope.
I completely shifted my focus from cancer to life, especially being there and taking care of my two lovely children who needed me. My son was just 5 years and my daughter 11 months.
I know that losing my breast, going through chemotherapy, losing my hair and other tough battles to overcome cancer was not easy, but today I know life is worth every bit of fight I gave for it.
Looking at lack of awareness and fear regarding cancer Pink Hope Support Group and HCG came together and joined hands to launch the first edition of SelfV Survivor stories in 2014 became a huge success and also made its way through to Limca Book of Records. Then came the second SelfV in 2015 which again proved to be a great hit. It was amazing to see that it received a huge participation with over 400 videos from cancer survivors participating from all over the world.
Now that the 3rd year of SELFV Survivor Stories – Life > Cancer – a platform to showcase how Life is greater than Cancer has been launched, people should come forward and contribute in their own tiny way through 1 minute videos either as a survivor showcasing their battle and victory over cancer or as supporter who believe that there is life beyond cancer.
I was the part of previous two campaigns as well contributing my SelfV of 1 minute the videos of which I have embedded below the video I created for #SelfV2016
For those who cannot access the video, here is the text.
Hi, Farida here. Remember Peter Parker, who became Spiderman after being bitten by a spider? Similarly in 1996 a vicious crab bit me unlocking few super powers. My new abilities were to tackle issues head-on beginning with cancer itself, live in present, a gift to love myself, be compassionate to others and value being here today ALIVE.
I am not proud that I survived 3rd stage cancer for 21 years, but I am for doing so with passion, confidence, enjoying my days, achieving my goals and moving ahead in my own unique humor sprinkled style. Dear friends, cancer has killed many of our loved ones, now it is the payback time. With awareness, early detection right treatment and our survivor spirit, LET US KILL CANCER and prove that life is indeed greater than cancer, a gift we treasure.
I believe nothing is completely bad in my life, not even cancer. I was bitter when I was diagnosed with third stage breast cancer at the age of 29 when I was breast feeding my 11 month old baby girl and also coping with my sister’s struggle with 4th stage cancer. But then I said to myself, “I have cancer, but I can see to it that cancer will never have me”. With that spirit I picked up my life and went on to live it to the fullest for 18 years now. I have pursued and lived many of dreams post cancer.
I feel life before cancer was like money won in the lottery, but every moment after diagnosis has been like hard earned money. I can say cancer is my teacher who taught me the real value of life.
My SelfV 2015
Hi I am Farida, 20 years ago my announced you have breast cancer stage 3. My first question to him after recovering from the initial shock was, “What should I do to survive this?”
He said, “I think you already did by shifting your focus from cancer to life”.
I divide my life into BC and AD that is ‘Before Cancer’ & ‘After Diagnosis’ because I realized the value of my life only when I was about to lose it. From aimless wandering, I started living a focused, goal oriented life. I set targets to be achieved – the important one being bringing up my children lovingly. Today I can proudly say my special needs daughter is an earning member of our family.
The last two decades of my life post cancer has been highly productive and rewarding for me. For those of you still there on the battlefield, my message is – stay negative, think positive and focus on life because life is worth living and fighting for.