Nisha choithram (Breast cancer survivor)

How it began( Symptoms)

In May 2016, While I was taking a bath I felt like I had a lump in my right breast. The size of the lump was small, so my family said not  to worry about it but to be on a safer side we contacted a gynecologist. Gynecologist wrote some tests for me like mammography, sonography and FNAC. All the reports came negative. I was unmarried at that time.  

In November 2016, I  got married. After the marriage the size of the lump started growing. 

In February 2017, I again got myself  tested. The doctor said it’s a small lump and we can operate on that. After we operated on it, we sent it to the lab for a check up where we found out that I have been diagnosed with stage 3 Cancer. It was a bit heartbreaking as me and my husband just came to Indore and after hardly 3-4 days we got to know that I have cancer. 

How Family reacted

My husband is a supportive person and positive person. He boosted up my confidence. He even said it is curable and we can fight this.

When I got to know about this, I cried a lot.I was just married. I started feeling very low. But there was my husband who was really supportive and never let me feel low. 

I used to have a healthy lifestyle. I never used to  eat food from outside. I don’t like spicy food or oily food. So, when people  got to know about my cancer they were shocked. But they were positive and even gave me hope. 

My in-laws or my own parents never made me feel like I have cancer. They have always treated me as a normal person. They all were supportive throughout the process. 

Treatment

My husband took me to Mumbai for treatment under Dr. Advani. I underwent 6 chemotherapy in an interval of 21 days, and 25 radiation. I took zoladex for 1 year to stop my periods. 

The first chemotherapy session was all okay. I used to do yoga and had a healthy diet. I used to motivate people around me and myself. Although there were many side effects, hair fall was one of them. At any point if I felt low, my husband was always there cheering me up all the time. He used to call me ‘pehalwan’ which means strong person to cheer me up everyday.

Then I had 25 radiations which was given by Dr. Anjali. The radiation too has some side effects. After the radiation therapy was completed I started moving towards normal life. 

It was a little hard for me at first as I was getting the Zoladex and 17 Herceptin in a span of 21 days. I used to travel to Mumbai every 21 days.

Each and every radiation hurt a lot and everytime the pain lasted for almost 3 days. After 3 days I felt good. This was an ongoing process when the radiation happened. 

The whole process of cancer from chemotherapy to radiation took two and a half years to complete. At the end I got cured. 

I was triple positive, so I have to take the medicine for 10 years. 

After recovery

It’s been three years since I started taking the medicines. I have to undergo a check up every six months. Even in covid times we are up to the mark but it’s just that we are not going to the hospital. We just talk to the doctor through video call and learn about the condition. 

Side effects of chemo 

The first side effect everyone has is losing hair. After the first chemo the doctor suggested that I should not eat any outside food but I still ate a burger which resulted in diarrhea. After the second chemotherapy I got typhoid, and throat infection. I was hospitalized for 3-4 days.When I recovered from typhoid I was weak and had bodyache. This made my chemo delayed for 4-5 days. 

To cure the side effects doctors used to prescribe me some antibiotics which helped in the curing of side-effects. 

Side effects of radiation 

Breast itchiness, mouth ulcers, loss of taste, and lack of appetite.. 

Lesson I  learned

 I am a person who likes home food more than outside food. Yoga, pranayam and walking were a part of my life even before cancer but after cancer I took it even more seriously. Walking and yoga became a routine part of my life. Now I know what to eat and what not to. Even if I don’t feel like working out or walking, I still do it for myself and my family. 

Cancer as a whole made me and my family mentally strong.If we can fight cancer we can fight  anything. Cancer made us strong enough to face any problem. The way we see life has completely changed. We know we can face any problem now. 

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