If I had ever known, in all possibility that 31 was the age I would have a major setback on my goals and plans or a question on the very existence of my future , I would have lived my life a little more carefree.
Just a month after my 31st Birthday, I was diagnosed with a tumor .
After 14 sleepless nights they confirmed a Malignant 5.5 cm ,Grade 3 ER , PR , HER2 positive cancer . Don’t ask me what that is . It’s a lot to digest and difficult to explain.
But the symptoms were not good .
On the 14th day , I got the reports at 2.30 in the afternoon , had a cancer board meeting at 3.30 and then by 5 in the evening the doctors declared that I am going through surgery immediately the next morning.
So practically, my entire existence was being questioned and about to be changed in a matter of hours . I got exactly 15 hours to be as normal as I could ever be here after.
Only the coming months would make me realise that whatever I was about to go through was going to be devastating.
I came home dazed , numb .
I had barely time for my 8 year old and his questions . 8 is not a time when one should be forced to be a grown up and witness your mother to be broken from inside . For the first time in my life I was shit scared . Death had never seemed a possibility to my ignorant mind. Uncertainty clouded every thought .
It was like time was slipping by and I was just a manequin unable to stop , react or take any action.
I went back to the hospital that night with nothing but an empty feeling. I barely got time to digest what was happening to me.
Early next morning, the doctors took me in at about 7.30 for pre surgery checks . They assured me and my family that it would be a 3 hour surgery and relatively uneventful.
We all were in for a surprise .
The surgery took approximately 9.5 hours . Severe blood loss caused delay . Countless procedures , 3 bottles of Blood transfusion , 65 stiches later I was out of the operation theatre.
I can’t even explain the horror my family waiting outside had to go through . When I regained consciousness I could see all of them standing over me with almost dead expressions
I smiled . A first in days to come
It felt wonderful to be alive.
The next 7 days made me realize that nothing is going to be the same again . Nothing will be normal ever .
I had to relearn to walk , breathing took a lot of effort . Pain was my best friend . And pills were my diet .
The drip attached , Almost 12 pills every four hours , covered in bandages , being repeatedly told not to ever lift or do anything substantially with my left hand I came back home relatively alive .
But the worst was yet to come .
I lost my hair , my confidence , my will to survive started dwindling . Practically, I became a lifeless , soulless body .
Everything hurt , Every body function was dependant on medications . I could have gadly undergone another surgery instead of the Chemotherapy sessions . After every chemo I had to be readmitted to the hospital due to getting severely ill .
Looking back today I am still shocked how I survived that pain and mental stress .
The chemo stopped after creating havoc with lots of side effects . More than 200 pricks and 100’s of tablets later , No taste buds , No digestion , No hair , Heavy steriods had made my body bloat , Nails all black , Skin that looked grey like that of a dead person , Severe Weakness and Body pain that left me wondering How I was still alive , I survived.
And then suddenly I found myself rising in clarity , feeling good and my will to live made me fight back.
But it was not over yet . There was 1 month of radiation still pending . Now here too the cancer being on the left side created difficulties as the radiation could harm my heart , So I had to practice holding my breath for more than 30 seconds for 20 mins daily in a room that was cold as a morgue. So for the next 30 days , every single day I underwent radiation .
I rememer 1st June very clearly , The day I completed my radiation is the day I cried . Finally the horror was over . Now all I had to do was , pick up the scattered bits of my life and move on with what best I could make out of it .
Today , I am on tamoxifin and still suffer . There are a lot of side effects which is why I am still on alternative medicine to make the symptoms and the side effects of all the chemicals to go away . I still take about 20 pills per day to function properly . Mood swings , Hot Flashes , Fluctuation in Blood Pressure .
But you know what , I got my first Sonogram a couple of days back and it looks good .
Doctors had told me it will be difficult until some years for me to trek . But I did my first trek last week and I made it to the top , a little slowly but I did.
My hair has started growing back , I am starting to loose the extra 12kgs I had put on after the Steriods . I am meditating and trying to excercise.
Yes there are still some issues but I am working on it and Today I had the courage to talk about it .
I had to write about it to let go . Writing is what makes me feel alive. That’s my way of dealing with trauma. And also Thanks to all my loved one’s for their support , understanding and love.
I don’t know what the future holds but I have started living one day at a time. Whatever time we have , we have to live without regrets , carefree but without bad consequences . Remember to eat healthy , Excercise daily , Stress less and always count your blessings .