Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Soak Us No More In Fear......Please

An image created by Rayyan based upon my idea. I am proud of him.
Do you feel that you're soaked in work and the daily grind? Or do you always find yourself soaked in rain when you need it the least? This question was asked by the Surf Excel Matic #SoakNoMore Contest on Indiblogger.
Casually I sat down to write a contest post and set my thoughts drift away freely. I was actually happy and was thinking about the time when we went to the event hosted by Indiblogger and Surf #SoakNoMore in Bangalore. It was funny co-incident where they said #SoakNoMore but summoned the rain Gods to soak all those who visited the event before they departed. What a joke! When I start to rack my brain, the thoughts and ideas formed are quite complicated, it is best to let something touch my heart before I write a post. My thoughts drifted over to the clothes getting soaked after being dried with lots of effort in monsoon rains. But with washing machine and dryer we do not face that anymore. I remembered being soaked in pee, while sleeping beside my child who wet herself in night. That actually brought smiles now, because that has been past too. I remembered being soaked in rain when I was rushing to attend an interview, but not bad either, as I was successful. 

Pondering over soaking experiences and smiling to myself, I was shocked when all of a sudden I remembered blood soaked cotton balls from my surgery days. Yikes! Never knew those blood and pus soaked cotton balls haunted my subconscious mind even now. I never thought they would invade my thoughts when I was happily reminiscing about a get together with fellow bloggers, but, unfortunately they did and took away the smile from my face. 

Cancer has been a part of my life, in a subtle way though, even when it is in remission, it does not leave me alone. It kept reminding of its presence for the past 16 years by making my mom miserable with recurrence, snatching away my dear friends and giving me panic attacks every time I felt a lump someplace on my body. I do find myself soaked in work, rain, love and many more things but I don’t mind it. It is all a part and parcel of life, and most of the time I do enjoy it to the fullest. Honestly, I don’t mind soaking clothes before wash either. We have wonderful detergents, washing machines and clothes to be washed. Let us be grateful and not grumble when we soak clothes a bit.

What bother me are those blood soaked cotton balls which haunt my life. My Mom underwent surgery and when she was recovering from it, when she had to receive the shocking news that cancer was back again. I still remember her shocked, ‘I can’t believe this’ expression when she heard about her recurrence. After giving up a part of your body, and going through hell, I feel a person will expect to get rid of cancer for a while. But that does not happen often. Recently I saw a young acquaintance of mine, going through all the medications, surgery and radiation only to die of recurrence within 18 months of being diagnosed. The trauma of all the treatment and suffering is living hell not only for the patient but for the family as well. My friend Paula fought a brave battle before cancer got an upper hand after nearly 8 years. A gusty woman, she fought it bravely but cancer was stronger as it was armored with metastasis and recurrence power. So did dear Lois who is a warrior in her own way. No amount of torture from cancer could steal the smile from her face. My friends Judy, Ann, Ellen, Elaine and many more are fighting a tough battle with the demon who doesn't die. He just goes into hiding, and we are not sure when he is coming back for us. A cancer survivor has no other option left now, other than to live a life soaked in fear about the recurrence. Will there be a cure for cancer in near future?

I hope there is going to be a cure sometime soon. I hear so many reports that say the cure for cancer is being held back for monetary gains by pharmaceuticals. Though we do not know the truth behind it, I really wish they would do more to find a cure and spread awareness of the ailment which has been claiming lives of many. We often hear scientists are close to a 'potential cure' for most breast cancer cases, but then it never reaches those who need it. WHY?  Technology is moving ahead in lightning speed, every day a new gadget hits the market, new vehicles are introduced on roads, speed barriers being broken. Then, why not a find a cure for cancer? Are we really not good enough to find a cure or is there is something else?

I have been lucky in a way that though I lost my breast, hair and went through six months of hell in the name of chemotherapy and treatment; I got to live 16 years with my kids. The trauma has been worth the time I have spent happily with my family. I feel bad for those people who go through all that just to have a recurrence staring at them within a few months, which means another ride through hell in a roller coaster.
Having watched my mom, sister and many friends lose their battle to a recurrence from cancer; I just pray that there be a cure for cancer soon. It has been enough of soaking for us in medicines, chemo-therapies, radiations and surgery without being sure of a cure. Soak us no more in fear, find a cure please.
 I have lost three wonderful friends from that picture, while
some are having tough time fighting breast cancer. 

Sharing a poem I had written when I lost a dear friend to recurrence:
Cure for my Fear
I am a warrior too, fighting without a gun or knife
As I fight not for political reason, but for my own life
My enemy resides within me
Lethally and slowly penetrating me
Silently, making no sound, causing no pain
Ruthlessly going about destroying me again and again
I hope and pray that I am not late
In finding this enemy who with all my heart I hate
When I win the battle and try to live on
I cannot as the fear in me grows strong
Cancer was not killed; it was only given a rest
So that in slumber it can recover to be its best
As I go about my life mending and darning
It will someday attack me again without a warning
With more vehemence being more fierce
Bones, Lungs, and Liver everywhere it appears
Find a cure please, I have promises to keep
Find a cure so that without nightmares I can sleep
Find a cure so the survivors can be rest assured
That we are free now- WE ARE CURED.
Farida Rizwan
( A lucky survivor living with remorse of losing loved ones to cancer)


  1. Touching and thought provoking.

  2. I am sure you have many many cancer free years ahead.

  3. The word cancer scares everyone...might be because we know that once it strikes, there is no looking back. Hope we soon get a treatment for cancer soon. In my free time, I like helping women at CPAA, a cancer rehabilitation centre. I have also come to know that Jumpin, the mango drink has also come out with a video to help a social cause. With each share of the video, Jumpin will donate an amount to Save the Children NGO. It is not the money that counts, it is the initiative. I am sharing the video here: Pls do share.

  4. You're so right.. only freedom from fear ensures a really happy life. Touchwood for you. May you have many many more happy times with your family.

  5. Having lost my mother to breast cancer after a six year battle my prayers for a cancer cure are as heart-felt as can be!!

  6. made me sad , I wish we can get rid of this disease forever


  7. is a big concern to the scientists on date, we hope they conquer it soon!
    All the best Farida:) may you live a long and happy life:)

  8. Touched. Hat's off Lady...a true warrior.

  9. Very touching...The journey would have been very arduous but you can give yourself a proud pat on the back for braving it all along....Hope and pray they find a cure soon!

  10. I wish the same Farida..that they find a cure soon. There are so many people suffering and it really breaks your heart to hear the stories. You are such an inspiration..

    My best wishes that you win this competition :)

  11. This is such a moving post ... Oh what a survivor you are ! I hope and pray that a cure is found for cancer soon and may its shadow never fall on you ever again !

  12. You're an absolute warrior, Farida! I am so inspired by you. Yes, I too pray that a cure for cancer is found soon.

  13. I lost my grandfather to cancer. We were very close, and I was there with him, during the times of endless radio therapies and kemo sessions. I saw him lose the battle, though he tried very hard.

    A permanent cure for cancer is the top item on my wish list as well. Hope it becomes a reality soon.

    Kudos for your never-give up spirit, and heres hoping you never have to face it again. Stay healthy! Take care

  14. Sad to hear something, however article is very nice one. All the best.

  15. heart touching one...all the best for the contest

  16. Touching poem. Having lost my mother to cancer 3 years back I could fully relate to it. If there had been a cure for cancer today my mother would have been alive and possibly blogging away to glory about feminism like all the women bloggers in early fifty's.

  17. Very heart-wrenching and my solidarity to your cause for the fight for cancer patients. Points raised about chance of deep seated behind the scene politics of pharma companies to held back the solution drug ....that's very pathetic state of lives losing due to a few powerful companys' greed!

  18. Touching post. I walk in support and solidarity with all the people suffering from this dreadful disease...and least we talk about the sic money-mongers :((
    all the best!!

  19. accounts on true life incidents evoke deeper emotions . . hope you are keeping healthy now :) cheers to you for all the battles you have fought bravely. . be happy . . and soak no more in fear. . all the best for the contest :)


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