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.....


  1. Hi Farida. I've enjoyed reading your blog, and thanks for stopping by and reading mine.

    Your cancer story was very touching, and it reminded me of all the ways that cancer has changed my life too, even though I was only a bystander watching from the outside. The people I've met (both online and off); the way I look at the world; the things I value in life...all affected in monumental ways by one life changing disease. So many people all around the world share this common thread - and although I never had cancer myself, it has touched my life in ways that words alone can't even begin to describe.

    I am privileged to have shared a part of this journey with you.


  2. Thanks Jeff.. Your way of looking at simple things of life and also the wonderful friendship you had with Jill all was so touching to me. Give my love to your family... That is a amazing set of women you have in your life .. now a little angel added LOL.

  3. Dear Farida,

    Your story has touched my life. I am amazed with your life and the way you have dealt with BC and have survived. Although I have been watching from the outside, your story and the blog has made a difference to me. I can well imagine the determination you have had in the past to fight the enemy. I have come across a number of women, both young and old who have fought and have been victorious. I salute them all and you. My close association with the survivors has helped me value life, trust God, his plans and love unconditionally.
    Thank you much.

    Archana Jones

  4. your bc sisters love you more than you can imagine. The joy of knowing that we have a friend halfway across the world is mind boggling. Espeially since you came to the US to see and meet us. I constantly miss you and the kids wandering the house, going in the pool, working in the gardens and generally being there. Never forget what a family you have here in Spring Hill.

  5. this is amazing .... i have been reading two other blogs where the ladies had cancer but they fought against it and lived to tell us their wonderful and courageous story.......sometimes....worst things happens to being out the best in you.....wish everybody could cherish the beautiful gift of life.......

    would like to read more about you fight against breast cancer....

    subscribing and following.....

    wishing best of the world....


  6. Touching post!
    Makes me think of how much more we need to be thankful of in our daily lives! How much we just take for granted! Thank you for being the one to make me realize today that everything is but temporary...
    And I have to say you have lovely kids! :)
    Thanks again!

  7. A close relative of mine is currently battling cancer. It has been an very emotionally difficult time for all of us. Your story is inspiring.

  8. Nice to hear that you are so positive in life and really very inspirational read...

    i always have a doubt why we are still not able to find a complete cure even with such an advancement in technology while governments are investing billions of dollars in developing arms, missile and stealth crafts investing half of that money in cancer research it think we would have come up with some decent medication...

  9. this story was extremely touching.. i must stay u r one hell of a fighter..

    i lost my grandmother to BC. i was very young then, but recently it made me realize tht she cud hv tried harder.. she was not so strong and had a religious bent- to take whatever comes ur way..
    i miss her though, she was the best grandmom ever!

    anyways all the best to you! it has been great reading ur blog!

  10. My grandmother too had her breast removed,due to a tumour which they suspected to be malignant.

    She did not have to undergo chemo but the trauma I think I could see on her face. She was quite reclusive after the surgery, and has taken her almost 10 years to become more relaxed and more importantly she can talk about it now.

    God Bless...

  11. This is a wonderful post. I salute both your spirit and the fact that you have bothered to pen things down so honestly to inspire others.

  12. an inspiring post!:) hats off to u! really love reading ur blog cos whatever you write, are from the bottom of ur heart! keep going!:)

  13. Dear Farida, Hats off to you. This is a really really inspiring one. I know how it feels since my mother also went through chemo. I am glad that you faced it bravely. :)

  14. Its an honour to read this post. :) Wishing you luck every step of the way!

  15. Great Courage and a strong will you got!!.

    I believe you should be one of the very few female bloggers of your age.

    Nice to know you through your blogs

    Good luck!

  16. My mother went through breast cancer surgery and chemo and radiotherapy one and a half years back. I can surely identify with you and what you must have gone through. Keep your spirits high!

  17. What could any one say? Your fight against Cancer is inspiring lakhs of peoples through this blog. I wish you a very long and happy life ahead.

  18. An awesome inspirer! Appreciate all your thoughtful insights about your own life in all these years. Being a research of cancer drugs, I know what the patients go through psychologically, it's more than their physical illness. Best wishes to you!!!

  19. An awesome inspirer! Appreciate all your thoughtful insights about your own life in all these years. Being a research of cancer drugs, I know what the patients go through psychologically, it's more than their physical illness. Best wishes to you!!!

  20. Hi Farida,

    Amazing to have known about you.. All the best for your health..
    My mom suffered from BC and she is strongly recovered since it was detected very early in the stage...

    Thank you for visiting my blog and supporting me as well.

    Take care.

  21. Salute you lady...way to go. May He bless you with Happiness. Standing ovation.

  22. Amazing spirit, kudos to your fighting spirit in long drawn battle with BC. May god bless and aid you in hour of need

  23. Great to see your positive attitude and ur zeal to live !!!!

  24. It was very inspiring and wonderful to read. Your cancer story was very touching. I just got a call for one of the interviews, but did not mind disconnecting just to go thro' the entire post..Also, Just called up my mom as well to inform her as to how you fought against BC. I will follow your blog... good work :)

  25. your story was so touching...truly hats off to you
    even my cousin underwent hrough this deadly disease last year,,but fortunately won ove ir though she had to lose one of her breasts..
    Cancer is always a nightmare and I am truly expecting a cancer free world

  26. Kudos to you and nice to know you :)

  27. You are an amazing person!! Love reading your blogs... :)

  28. hi,
    I guess I don't have the words to express my appreciation 'cos what you have written isn't just a blog ... it's something you have lived ... from nightmare to nightmare and what has emerged is a beautiful soul with immense strength... You personify the most wonderful words I have ever read ....

    "The deeper pain carves in you ... the more joy you can contain" (Kahlil Gibran)

    God bless you!! looking forward to read more of your work...

  29. Speechless! I'm left with no words, just want to say that you are a real source of inspiration to the weak.

  30. Life poses threats and tests all along the way. It's a real test to pass all with dare and let go attitude.
    very very daring indeed. My sincere best wishes.

  31. Hi Farida.. I have no superlative words to describe your fight and journey.. I can only bow down to you in respect ... lots of hugs and best wishes...

  32. You write very well. You could consider writing a complete book on your journey through this.

  33. Maam, I hope I can you Maam, for I don't have any other word to revere you, your fight against cancer.
    Just don't have any words to say. consider this as a token of respect for I am nowhere as compared to you in life's struggles. One rejection in an interview makes us go drooling over "miserable life" like thoughts.
    Thanks Maam, for telling us that there are greater battles in life and given the determination, one can conquer all.
    Once again.... complete respect.

  34. such a wonderful amazed and also appreciative of ur courage and zest for living!!

    i lost my grandma due to kidney cancer..i do now how it really pains the whole family!!

  35. Oh My God! This was so inspiring ! A very courageous woman you are! :)
    Prayers and love to you.xo

  36. You are a fighter! Thanks for giving inspiration to so many!

  37. I've never really been motivated read other's blogs - until now, thanks for sharing, you touch my heart

  38. "The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests."
    -Your blog is an inspiration to many.

  39. Hurray from one survivor to another. :)

  40. Salute Brave Lady... This is by far the most touch & motivational blog post I have read !!

  41. HI, Farida Rizwan

    Very ncie post share it very motivational for cancer patient.


  42. Consider this as a token of admiration for I am nowhere as contrast to you in life's struggle


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