Breaking Silence : My Story of Survival through Cancer

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 .
Chemotherapy .
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 .

#shwetarb






6 Comments

  1. खरच माझ्या मुलींनी खूप सहन केले जर .तिच्या हीम्तीची मी दाद देतो
    देवा कडे मी प्रार्थना करतो तिला भरपूर दीर्घ आयुष्य देयो

    Liked by 1 person

  2. तुझी कॕन्सरयात्रा वाचून डोळ्यात पाणी आलं. इतक्या लहान वयात ही हिंमत कुठून आली तुझ्यात? तुझ्या या दिवसांत निशाला आलेलं टेन्शन आम्ही अनुभवलंय. केमो म्हणजे विषाला विषाचा उतारा असं ऐकलं होतं. तुझे अनुभव प्रेरणायक ठरतील बाकीच्यांना. आता या संकटातून बाहेर पडलीयेस, काळजी घे आणि नेहमी आनंदी रहा, सुखी रहा याच माझ्या शुभेच्छा ….god bless u dear

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  3. I remember you as a carefree girl with a warm smile. I always found you resilient and strong back then too. However after reading your story it seems like resilience and strength are not enough to define what you are. More power to you, Shweta.

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  4. Happy Birthday Shweta.. God bless you.. I am sorry to hear about your ordeal.. I am sure you would emerge from this too as you have been always!

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