Real Life Stories

Me, The Warrior

Madhu srivastav
Madhu Srivastava

I had a life like any normal Indian girl would dream to have. A lovely family, life full of hopes and dreams for the future. But isn’t it true, that every story takes a turn? Yes, so did my life.

I am Madhu Srivastava. Everything was going usual in my life. In a metro city, you can’t stop and see what is actually happening, you just keep moving forward as there is no time to wait. And sometimes there comes a crossing, where you have to make a decision which way to go. For me the day I found out that I had breast cancer, almost everything changed I would have not even found out about it, if one day I had not realized I was having a continuous pain and thickness in my right breast.

I kept ignoring the pain, thinking it was just because of too much work and stress. But when even after a couple of weeks, it didn’t get any better, my husband advised me to see a doctor. And it came out to be something unexpected, it was cancer. Just like any other human being would have reacted, I was shocked, so was my family. When I got back from the hospital, with teary eyes. I disclosed the news to my daughter and my mother-in-law, made me weak for once.

But soon I gathered my emotions and had to tell myself that it is for my family that I have to wake up every day with a hope and a smile on my face. That is what is going to give me strength and them too. Thanks to God my cancer was treatable and curable.

After consulting few doctors, tons of tests, many of them told me the best way is to get my breast removed. For me, it was a hard decision, but in order to save my life, if I had to do it. I would have done it.

For someone who lost both her parents to cancer, it was not only a disease, in fact it was a battle of life and I had to win it. My destiny took me to Dr. Rajinder kaur Saggu, who sat down and actually explained to me what was actually wrong and to my relief, she told me that my breast can be saved.

She started the treatment with 6 chemotherapy cycles. Those six months made me realise why people are so afraid of chemotherapy. I felt weak and uneasy for few days right after the chemotherapy; then came the sleepless nights when my hair started falling off. It was all like a bad dream. Instead of seeing them fall daily I decided to shave my head. The rest of months passed somehow.

The hospital became my second home. After chemotherapy, I underwent breast conserving surgery and then after one month, radiotherapy. Since I developed skin issues so I had to take few breaks during radiotherapy but eventually, those sessions also ended. Soon, my targeted chemotherapy therapy is also about to finish. Usually, people look into negative aspects in a situation, but I think that one should look for positive aspects into the situation and move forward.

Look for what you gain, not what you lose. And I believe that there is power, call it God, who does put the hardest hurdles in the way of the strongest, to test them. We don’t have to turn our back from those hurdles; we have to face them, with whatever we have. That’s how you live through your life.

Here I want to mention one thing very unique and might sound strange to others, that is my “Chemoport”. Usually people get rid of such bad memories and throw them away. But after my surgery when my husband showed me the “Chemoport” which was given by Dr. Saggu I immediately decided to keep it near to my heart where it was planted. I wanted to keep that small piece of metal which gave me pain but actually it was a medium to save my life through life saving drugs. We went to a Jeweller and got it converted into a beautiful pendant, which will always be hanging from my neck and keep reminding me that I have to take care of myself for the rest of my life. Because prevention is always better than cure.

Now that God has given me another chance to live in this world, I want to dedicate my life for God’s cause. Fortunately I’m blessed with fine hand painting, so I decided to do something productive out of it. In our country, we see some people only lose their life because they couldn’t afford to pay the medical bills or even the doctor’s fee. Since I know the pain, I wanted to do something for them. During treatment, I started painting and whatever I could earn by selling them, I saved it to help poor and needy patients. This idea was appreciated by everyone and I successfully sold many of them.

In my story, I was lucky enough to have my husband who is always there with me on each and every step; my daughter and mother-in-law who made me smile in the most difficult times. I think it is important to have people with good heart by your side.

At such times, everything counts. I firmly believe everything you ever did, for good, it comes back to you.
Lastly, I am very grateful to Dr. Rajinder Kaur Saggu from the core of my heart for her medical expertise, her kindness and immense support in making my ordeal so comfortable. Without her presence around I think I would not be what I am today. She is the epitome of my strength.