Real Life Stories
Fight It With Laughter
Cancer – a name in itself is very dreadful and fearing. But there are people like me who fought and won over this. Now I lead a normal life or I might say a better life. I use the word “better” as it gave me focus & showed me the true value of life. I began to love myself & started appreciating life that I had almost lost. Also, we get a lesson to take better care of our health and devote more time for ourselves.
Dear readers, I am Anusuya, 63 year old cancer survivor or I may say a cancer fighter. I call myself a fighter because I won over this disease with my courage, strength & will power along with the immense support and care of my doctor, Dr. Rajinder Kaur. After coming in contact with her I have realised why doctors hold a place next to God. She goes an extra mile to treat her patients and motivate them to fight over this deadly disease. She truly is a blessing for her patients.
It was 30th December, 2017 when I felt the shooting pain in my shoulder which radiated to my chest. But I ignored it assuming it to be a muscular pain. After 3 months, on 29 march 2018, I felt the same kind of shooting pain, when I was making arrangements to go and visit my sons living in Dubai. Both my sons are settled in Dubai and my daughter stays in Canada. I and my husband live happily in Jalandhar, Punjab. I went to see a doctor at Jalandhar and he suggested me several tests as well as scan. I was informed and told that I am having “breast cancer”. But I didn’t panic and boldly accepted it and asked the doctor to start the treatment as soon as possible.
I broke the news to my husband and to my brother who stays in Delhi. My brother suggested us to take a second opinion. So I and my husband went to Delhi on 30th march 2017. My brother had lined up appointments with 3 doctors in Delhi namely Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute, AIIMS & Apollo Hospital.
The very next day on April 1, we left home to meet the respective doctors. My husband advised me to start first consultancy from Apollo. That is when I first met Dr. Rajinder Kaur Saggu. With my first interaction with her, I could feel that she was quiet empathetic towards her patients. She carefully studied my reports and very calmly explained me the line of treatment. Her knowledge in the subject was vast. She carried huge expertise in conducting numerous surgeries related to breast cancer. I could also perceive that she had strong work ethics and was quiet passionate about her work. I was so impressed by her positive attitude that I didn’t feel the need to consult any other doctor.
The first step towards my treatment was mastectomy (complete removal of my right breast. There was not much discomfort during or after the surgery. I was comfortable doing my work from the very next day. I stayed in Delhi for my first cycle of chemotherapy which was after 21 days of surgery. I faced almost no discomfort after my first cycle of chemotherapy. But after the second cycle, I felt weakness, constipation, nausea, vomiting. Sometimes I had mouth sores too. These symptoms lasted for a week after second chemotherapy. After that the life was quiet normal. My hairfall started after third cycle of chemotherapy but it didn’t affect my looks as I didn’t lose all the layers of my hair.
I want to share with you my readers that the stronger you are, the lesser are the side effects. I experienced that in my own case; and have been proven over time that a patient with positive attitude feels less pain and discomfort as well as recovers faster. I went through 12 cycles of targeted chemotherapy and radiation sessions over 12 months. There were no much side effects of targeted chemo.
I had my radiations done from Patel hospital, Jalandhar. The only side effects of radiations were the burns in the affected area. I consulted my doctor for the same & she prescribed some ointments and coconut oil for the affected area. Those burnt areas healed with time and some medications. This was the most uncomfortable time which I faced during my treatment, that after my surgery I had to carry seroma bag for more than a month.
The discharge of fluid after surgery kept flowing for more than a month. Most people think that one cannot live a normal life after such an extreme medical treatment. But it’s not true. In fact, I feel that a cancer survivor not only lives a normal life but a happy life too.
A cancer patient can be treated within a period of 6 months to one year. While some diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, diabetes or asthma will stay with you for long time in your life. A cancer survivor can be disease free after certain amount of time, just needs to take care of the health and go for regular health check-ups & scans. Appropriate and timely treatment received can save you rather than harm you. If any day you feel sick or notice any symptoms in breast, don’t ignore or panic. Just don’t be shy away or be afraid to go for examination. As breast cancer is completely curable, if detected early.
Thanking to Dr. Rajinder Kaur from bottom of my heart, beyond her core job of a breast cancer surgeon, her charming personality and warmth made me choose her my doctor. I was lucky enough to be destined to be her patient.