In 1983, there was a gas tragedy in Bhopal. My family and I were affected because of that incident. My son was young, and I think I inhaled some of that gas while taking care of him.
Lung Cancer Diagnosis
I was always fit. Suddenly in 2013, I started coughing a lot; I could not sleep because of the coughing. I also developed a swelling on my face. I took the treatment, and some doctors said it's TB, some said it's an infection, some said it is bronchitis, and some said it's pneumonia. I took the treatment for two months but to no avail.
My elder son, who lives in Mumbai, came to Bhopal to surprise me. He didn't recognize me because I had a lot of swelling on my face, and my eyes had become small. Even my family members were not able to recognize me.
My elder son said that we should go to Mumbai and take a second opinion. When I was coming to Mumbai, I told my husband that I am 100% sure that it is cancer, but he should note that I would come home fit and fine. I went to a specialty hospital, and just by having one look at my reports, the doctor said that there were some problems, so I needed to get admitted and undergo some tests.
On 24th June 2013, I got admitted to the hospital, and my test results came on 29th June saying that I had Lung Cancer. When the doctor came to me, he asked me how I was feeling, and I said that I was good. He told me that I had Lung Cancer and had small cancerous cysts in the brain, lungs, throat, and stomach. I looked at the doctor and smiled and said that it's okay, cancer is just a word, there are many other diseases, and we have treatment for all. Nowadays, there are very modern technologies and medicines that will enable me to get better soon.
I told my doctor that God has given me the chance to fight, and I will try my best to fight it.
Lung Cancer Treatment
During my first chemotherapy, I had some cardiac problems. I underwent angiography, but thankfully, everything was fine with my heart, and there was no blockage. I feel that God was with me, and he gave me time so that I could take my Chemotherapy.
I had Chemotherapy sessions every 21 days, which continued for two and a half years. I became so weak that I was not even able to walk. I got tired of taking Chemotherapy because it had too many side effects. I had loose motions, vomiting, and ulcers in my mouth. I could not eat, there was a lot of weakness, and many other difficulties.
I told my doctor that it'd been two and a half years, and I was following a very strict diet and lifestyle, but now I want to have a good quality of life. I don't care about the number of days I live, but I want to live happily and peacefully. The doctor said they could stop the chemotherapy, but it was on us, and they wouldn't advise that.
I didn't take Chemotherapy or any medicines for 18 months. I enjoyed it a lot in those 18 months. I even went abroad in those months. I enjoyed my life to the fullest. I got my children married. Later, I had a granddaughter too. But after 18 years, I again had symptoms of Lung Cancer. I underwent a PET scan, and then again, I was asked to undergo the treatment.
Nature has so much to give
I also tried Naturopathy and ayurvedic treatment. I used to see what suits my body and what does not. I used to take turmeric water first in the morning. Then I used to make kadha for myself with giloy, ginger, full lemon, neem, and Aloe Vera as the ingredients. I also used to take papaya leaves juice to maintain my Platelet counts. One day, I had very low Platelet counts, and the doctors said that they could not give me any treatment till my Platelet counts were normal again. I searched how I could improve my Platelet counts and found out that papaya leaf helps in that. I made a kadha from papaya leaves and had my Blood Tests another day. To my surprise, I got to know that my counts were very much better. I believe that nature has given so much to us, but sometimes we do not make the best use of it.
I never stopped doing Yoga and Pranayama. I always used to do exercises to keep my lungs healthy. I still do Yoga for one and a half-hour daily. I do not eat any outside food. I carry my own water bottle with me.
Fight for the family
My mom came to take care of me, and I used to feel that she is taking care of me at the age when I should take care of her.
One day, while sleeping on the bed, I saw the fan and thought that there were so many problems, why not end this life and stop being a trouble for everyone. This thought came into my mind just for a second, and the very next moment, I thought that I could not give up this easily. I am the strength of my family, and I could not do this. If God has given me the chance to recover and live, then I should not let that chance go. From that very moment, I decided that I wanted to be on the other side of the bed and not on the bed. I wanted to fight for my family. My doctors and hospital staff supported me a lot. I had strong family support. My sisters-in-law did a lot for me. My whole family came forward to help me during those difficult days.
My husband was strong in front of me, but I used to gauge from his eyes that he came into the room after crying outside. My children told me that they are strong, but they used to breakdown while talking, so I told them that they don't need to worry; they needed to take care of their dad too. My Lung Cancer diagnosis affected my husband a lot. I gathered the courage and tried to be positive but handling my family became a difficult task for me. Later, all my family members also got strong, and my husband has even written a book named "Cancer weds Cancer, which has two versions.
When we came to Mumbai for my treatment, I told my children that I now have to fight with cancer, and I still remember their wonderful words, "Mumma, you don't have to fight, cancer has to fight with you; you are already so strong.
I have faith in God, and it's been eight years now. I am taking the treatment, then a little break and then again taking the treatment, but I am not ready to give up. I had hepatitis C, but I came out of that too.
Giving back to the society
I do counseling and also provide some diet tips to other cancer patients. I give my example that if I can come out of it, they can also do it. I do counseling for youth who gets diverted from their aims. I feel that if I was showered with so many blessings and help during my Lung Cancer journey, now it's my time to give back to society.
I learned that whatever your life span is, live it fully and keep your inner child alive. I was to have a PET scan on 8th March and on the same day there was some rally. I was so stubborn that I said I would not go for the PET scan if I don't attend that rally. I took the theme of cancer and decorated my car. It was a 105km rally, and I completed that. Though I did not win, I got immense satisfaction that I could still do it. Later, I went for my PET scan and then my Chemotherapy started. I feel we should not let our diseases restrict us from enjoying our life.
I always want to do something in life. I try to learn from everything and everyone I meet. I believe in enjoying every moment of life. I don't want to lose my inner child.
Spread love, be happy, positive and keep planting trees because they give you positivity and fresh oxygen. Don't think that it can be your end; think that God has given you the chance to heal. You will always have a solution for every problem. When we go to the theatre, we have a small entrance, but when the movie is over, you have a huge door open in front of you. You enter the small door in darkness and anyway find your seat; likewise, if God has closed one door, then somewhere, another door will be opened for you.
Don't hide that you have cancer; there is nothing to hide in it. You will get more information when you share your diagnosis with others.
Never let yourself break down. Have faith in the doctors and the treatment. Follow your passion. If you feel a little better, then don't be in bed; try to do what makes you happy. My passion is dance, and I dance a lot. I feelsinging and dancing gives you peace. Even watching dancing programs gives me a lot of freshness and inner happiness. Cooking is also my passion. Whenever I have any tension, I try to make some new dishes.