Thinking back on my journey with breast cancer, I’m still amazed at how quickly things could happen sometimes to change the course of your life.
From the moment of diagnosis in October 2011, until the last session of Radiotherapy in July 2012, my outlook on life has changed completely. Like most people, my initial reaction to diagnosis went from being scared to vulnerable to depression. But that soon changed as my fear called to mind a great line by actor Morgan Freeman from the movie The Shawshank Redemption; “get busy living, or get busy dying.”
For days, I couldn’t stop thinking about tomorrow, and my whole life was flashing before my eyes; Will I still be here tomorrow? Will I win the battle and live to see my daughter get married? Will I survive treatment? I’d heard that cancer treatment could be quite a long and arduous journey. A thousand questions were racing through my mind, until the answer echoed from within me: “You MUST get through it!” It was my clear sign of accepting the challenge, and my instant decision to find the strength to fight cancer. I MUST WIN.
With that decision, I was able to navigate through treatment. Six rounds of chemo, a mastectomy and fifteen sessions of Radiotherapy made childbirth seem like a walk in the park. Frankly, chemo was the real test of faith and strength. Four months of that horrible cold fluid running through my body made me realise just how precious life is, and my determination to beat cancer and give myself a new lease on life grew stronger each day. I spent many nights surfing the internet looking for answers and researching every aspect of my treatment. I armed myself with enough information that I was able to discuss treatment options with my oncology team of physicians, and make an educated decision for my case. Oh yes, knowledge is power, and once you understand your individual condition, you will cruise through treatment. You will see it as an opportunity to step out of your own life, shuffle your cards and rearrange your priorities in life.
Today, I’ve been cancer free for five months and I’m still full of hope for tomorrow. I want to tell every woman fighting breast cancer right now that cancer is a big, brutal word, but hope is bigger than any challenge you can face. Pain will not prevail, and the scars from surgery will be a constant reminder of the trooper that lives within you. You will get through this, and when you come out at the other end of the tunnel, you will realize that what really got you through is faith, and lots of hope to see the light of a new day.
Source: Qatar Cancer Society