The cancer journey can show you what it really means to fight for your life.
In the winter of 2019, life was pretty perfect for me. I was 36 years old and happily practicing as a lawyer. But that’s when I suddenly started experiencing flu-like symptoms, back pain and night sweats. I went to the doctor not knowing exactly what was wrong. After a few tests, I was diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma. My entire life stopped in an instant.
I started receiving chemotherapy and R-CHOP immediately, and with the support of my oncologist,
I started chemotherapy and R-CHOP immediately, and with the support of my oncologist Dr. Asghar H. Asghar from Memon Medical Institute Hospital and some other amazing supporters, I began my journey to beat cancer. I spent the next 60 days in and out of the hospital. In those 60 days, I learned what it really means to fight for your life. I experienced what it was like to receive chemotherapy. I lost more than $180,000 and all my dreams. I was on a feeding tube. And, I suffered many life-threatening infections. I remember there were days when I looked in the mirror and I did not recognize the frail, bald man looking back at me. In just over three months, I had gone from being carefree to being someone who required a caregiver.
Now thanks to Almighty Allah, I am so blessed to be able to say that I am in remission, and that life gets better and better every single day.
I know I was fortunate enough to have access to all the incredible medical treatments and support of my family members and Dr. Asghar, which all played a gigantic part in me beating cancer. Equally important was the support of my family and friends.
I also knew that I had to keep myself moving. Even though I was fighting for my life, I had to push just a little bit harder. My commitment to physical activity never stopped. Once I was in remission, I started going on walks to slowly rebuild my inner and outer strength. That was one of the best gifts I gave myself. It helped me reconnect with myself in a whole new way.
Beating cancer takes an unbelievable toll on you both mentally and physically. My body and mind were in constant survival mode. I experienced some depression, which is very normal for someone fighting cancer. Prayers to Allah really helped me reconnect with my body and spirit. It helped me process what had just happened and allowed me to work through all my feelings.
I understood early on in my cancer journey that it was going to be a physical and mental fight. How I thought about my fight with cancer was going to be just as important as my physical fight. I had a vision board that I kept in my room during my treatment to remind me of all the things I loved, and what I was fighting for. My vision represented hope and a beautiful future. It kept me motivated and focused on all the wonderful things that life still had to offer. I also learned in these troubled moments of life that laughter is the best medicine. Comedy became such an amazing outlet and relief for me while I was going through treatment. Prayers to Almighty Allah are so therapeutic and healing to my spirit, and it really helped me take my mind off all the heaviness around me.
I never gave up, even when I was scared. I believe anything is possible once you set your mind on it and we are willing to work hard to achieve it.