A Cancer Survivor’s Story: ‘I Had Cancer But Cancer Never Had Me’
I was a healthy child. Never touched alcohol or smoked a cigarette in my short span of life, writes a reader.
(On World Cancer Day, we invited our readers to share stories of courage and survival.)
It's been 6 years now but I remember it as if it was yesterday.
Summer vacation had just started and I was in class 12 - the most important year of my academic life. Life was on a roller coaster - from parties, traveling to solving equations!
And then one night all of a sudden - I started feeling an intense pain in my left femur (thigh bone). It felt as if hundreds of bees were stinging at the same time.
We decided to go through a lot of tests - blood tests, X-rays, MRI scan, CT scans - just to get a clearer picture of what was happening inside my body.
On that fateful day, my parents along with my uncle, went to collect the reports, after having visited multiple doctors and take multiple opinions. They returned in the evening and suddenly my mom started crying. I could just see them partially and heard them whispering something.
All I managed to hear was just one word ‘Cancer’ and osteo something-something.
Don’t Google Your Symptoms!
The first reaction of most people my age, who don’t understand things, is - ‘Google it!’
Obviously, it’s a big mistake!
You will only get depressed by looking at the search results for ‘Cancer’.
Google ‘Cancer’ and all you get are raw unforgiving statistics collected from various sources. Most of the results might or might not be true but most of us tend to assume the bleakest outcome presented, will be ours.
There are some universal feelings - one of which is the fact that no one feels fortunate when diagnosed with something as big as ‘Cancer’. The feeling of impending doom is definitely common.
‘I Had Never Touched Alcohol or Smoked a Cigarette’
I had never been afraid of death in my life. But, I was worried about my mother and feared she would harm herself if something happened to me. Seeing one’s parents crying is never easy.
There is a certain cloud, a dark smog that can invade your life when you're talking about life and death. We were floored by the diagnosis. It was devastating.
The diagnoses was inconceivable for us because I was a healthy child. I had never touched alcohol or smoked a cigarette in my short span of life.
For a while, my family and I lived with it. We did everything we possibly could, no matter what the doctors told us. We really had no choice.
The funny part about life is that when you are diagnosed with something so big, the whole universe conspires to motivate you. There were times when my parents motivated me and there were times, when I motivated my parents.
‘It Was One of the Toughest Phases of My Life’
I knew that a long, not so easy journey was coming that I could not run away from. I had never wanted to run away honestly, as I was ready for this test, for my parents and myself.
It was one of the toughest phases of my life.
I was living with my mom in a city called Mumbai, fighting one of the scariest villains anyone could ever come across.
I was becoming weak with every cycle of chemo. I wasn’t even able to do my daily chores by myself.
I was made to walk with crutches (which I hated initially but later, it became a blessing in disguise).
‘My Mom Was My Biggest Strength’
My Mom - the bravest and the most beautiful lady I know - was my biggest strength. She was doing her best just to make sure that I never stopped, never gave up, always stood up and walked after every fall.
I can blindly say she gave me birth not once but twice.
From the very beginning, I didn’t allow cancer to get the better of me. I never allowed cancer to make me its victim.
I've always called myself a 'shameless cancer patient' because I have laughed things off and embraced them as an experience.
Now, I think that's the only thing that got me out of 8 chemos and 5 successful operations.
When you’re starting a war of this kind, every move you make, every damn thing you do, counts. I think that’s the best possible way to get through it: day-by-day.
Before I was diagnosed with cancer, I used to be on the go always - a reckless selfish human being. I never cared about anything or anyone, not even my close ones.
It took a life-threatening disease for me to slow down, stop, and think where was I wrong, where I needed to change and what I actually wanted out of my life.
Now I know!
‘A peaceful healthy life with your loved ones around you’- a small dream I am living now.
(This is a personal blog and the views expressed above are the author's own. FIT neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)
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