We don't choose cancer. Cancer chooses us, and it is important to find a way to accept that.
Editor’s Note: This piece was submitted by a contributing writer and does not represent the views of CURE Media Group.
It was amidst absolute uncertainty and utter despondency that I started my journey from the college library, which finally led to chemotherapy ward in 2012. It felt like I was experiencing life’s bitterest vengeance when I first saw the diagnosis reports. I was in a state of complete denial for a while, and by the time I accepted the fact that I had cancer, I had already lost my hair.
Being a pharmacy graduate, I’m aware of the adverse effects of the anticancer drugs and the procedures that followed during chemotherapy. So, in the beginning, I found it quite difficult to keep myself from being intimidated by my thoughts. Shattered ambitions, unsure future, burdened emotions, excruciating pains and scars on the body were the constant thoughts in my mind. “Why me?” was the most persistent cry every night before I went to sleep. There were times when mourning became my main means of communication.
Many times I felt like running away from what I’m enduring, but in reality, it haunts me wherever I go. I have to live with the fact I was once a cancer patient. I have to take it to my grave.
When I was told that I have to undergo aggressive and intensive chemotherapy, I was like, “Do I have a choice?” I pretended to be brave and positive, which I’m actually not. All I had was endurance and hope, which eventually ossified me to the core towards treatment.
I remember what my dearest uncle, who is one of the reasons for my existence today, used to say, “Accept things the way they come in your life from now on.”
I failed to interpret what he meant then. But later I realized that if we first accept the situation we were put in, whatever it may be, we are already halfway through it. Acceptance makes life easy. It is more imperative that we have strong emotional tolerance during the diagnosis and treatment. Cancer adversely afflicts the emotional stability. That’s my understanding of cancer, but I might be wrong. But at the same time, isn’t it true that our psychological acceptance of things is fragile during this phase? My acceptance of the fact that I have cancer was my first confrontation step against it.
I don’t have any regrets about what I faced, as it shaped me to what I am today. I always had a ray of hope and tint of confidence that I was too tough to die at the age of 22. I didn’t allow cancer to take me down. It has been three years and I’m still counting. A few stereotypes may make it seem as if it is the patient’s fault he or she was diagnosed with cancer. But we didn’t choose cancer. Cancer chose us.
Being a cancer survivor, I’m witnessing that survival is just the beginning. Believe me, things are going to get even tougher. But this is the rock bottom that we had hit.
My suggestion to fellow cancer warriors is to enjoy small moments, laugh at silly things, make fun of yourself and enjoy being pampered. After all, this is just a phase in your life and not the end. Develop a whole new perspective of life. Stay positive in this adversity.
No one deserves this catastrophe in life. Life is worth living no matter what. As they say, the best is always yet to come. Kudos to all warriors and survivors!!!