Breast Cancer Diagnosis
My Breast Cancer journey began back in 2016 when my daughter was just four years old. I felt a lump in my breast, along with a slight fever, which prompted me to go to my gynecologist. At that time, my daughter had just left breastfeeding; hence the doctor dismissed the lump, saying that it could be because of that. I could feel the lump, but it didn't hurt at all. I asked the gynecologist to check it, and he asked me to get an FNAC done. I got my FNAC done from a lab in Indore. The results revealed that there was no cancer. We were relaxed, and we left it at it. After quite a long time, when we were in Thailand, my lump became quite large. We came back to India and got my check-up done. I got my MRI done, which showed it was stage 3 Breast Cancer.
Breast Cancer Treatment
My husband wanted to get the best treatment done, so we went to Mumbai, leaving our daughter with our joint family. The doctor said that my lump was quite big, so I should first go for my Chemotherapy cycles and then go for Surgery. He also diagnosed that I had cancer cells on my axilla part of the other arm, for which I would need another Surgery.
Initially, it was tough for me. I used to think that it was a dream that I had Breast Cancer. It was my daughter who really pushed me to fight against the Breast Cancer. Since she was only four, I wanted to make sure that she always had her mom, and due to this need, I got back into daily activities.
When I was getting my Chemotherapy done, I was in Depression. I was in lots of Pain. One of my family members told me that I should keep a spiritual connection, so I joined the Bhramhakumaris. I was wearing a scarf as I had no hair. I could not socialize, go outside, or meet my relatives, and at that time, that was the only place where they accepted me as I was. They also adjusted the timing of their classes for me, and that was where I got connected with the divine.
The why me question got over when the acceptance of the disease came. After accepting, the healing starts and you concentrate on the solution part rather than the problem part.
My Support System
My family was very supportive throughout my Breast Cancer journey. My husband was shocked, and I used to boost him, saying that everything would be fine. My mother in law, sister and brother in law were also very supportive. I could leave my daughter with them and not worry about her. My father was always with me and accompanied me for every Chemotherapy session. My mom was my pillar of strength. It was her prayers that worked for me. She used to send food for me when I was taking my Chemotherapy in the hospital, and on Sundays, I really used to look forward to that. I believe that when you have something to look forward to, then the journey becomes much easier.
My daughter always kept me going. I wanted to give her the right upbringing, so whenever I was broken or used to come back home after taking chemotherapy, I used to think that my daughter has to submit her art project tomorrow and needs my help. Since it was her first year of school, I didn't want her teachers to believe that she was lagging, and even she should not feel the emptiness, which always kept me motivated. Even when I was in pain, I used to forget about my Pain and used to do things with her.
Life after Cancer
Cancer changed me a lot. The Bhramhakumaris also had a very positive impact on me. I was a very different person in 2017. It's like there are two sides of me, i.e., first Komal before cancer and second is Komal after cancer. I was a completely different human being. Life got a new meaning, and I left all the things that we grudge upon. I got a new perspective on life and learned how important it is to be happy. We are not the body, but the souls on this journey.
Life after cancer is beautiful; it is a part of my articles and poems or whatever I write. I always say that cancer has made me a better person, and I thank cancer for coming into my life because it has made me a better human being in life. I always feel I am blessed with much more than I actually deserve.
Breast Cancer Relapse
When I had a reoccurrence, I could accept it easily. It was not that difficult for me. Mastectomy was done during the first Breast Cancer occurrence. I had small mosquito bite type spots, but I was ignoring them. I take Homeopathy treatment for normal cough and cold. So I went to my homeopathic doctor, who said it was anallergy and gave me a treatment for the same. But I thought I should give it a bit more thought. There is an oncologist in Indore whom I visited for my mother in law since she had fibroids in her breasts that needed to get checked every six months. I also went to the oncologist and got myself checked. The doctor gave me an anti-allergic medicine for three days and asked me to consult again if it does not recede.
I thought that since my mastectomy was already done, it would be on the other side if there would be a reoccurrence. But I never knew that it could happen on the same side too.
My surgeon asked me to consult a doctor from Tata Memorial Hospital, and then I started my Targeted therapy. It was a 21 days cycle and seven days break, and then seven days break, and then you have to undergo some tests, and again the cycle starts for 21 days. I have taken 15 cycles, and it is still going on. My doctor says that I will have to take it for quite a long time or at least for two years and the rest depends on my recovery. I do write and also do a lot of art activities because all these things make me happy.
Cancer- A Blessing in Disguise
Quite soon after my second surgery, I participated in an International Literature Festival and shared the stage with Nilotpal Mrinal, Rashmi Ramani and many other elite authors. There, I presented my poem again on cancer, which was "Jeevan me mere basant aaya hai, aur ye naya mausam mera cancer dost laya hai, in which I address cancer as a friend and a blessing in disguise.
Have faith in God
I connect with God very easily; he is always with me. The moment I am in trouble, I can call him and talk to him like we normally do. I feel that I am God's favorite child, and he will not trouble me unnecessarily. There is a reason for everything. I have a strong faith in God, and I call him "baba. When my baba is with me, who is taking care of the whole universe, why should I be scared of anything?
As I have bilateral breast cancer, I cannot be pricked on the arms for Blood Tests. So I have to get my blood drawn from my feet or port, but I haven't faced any trouble because some expert is always there to help me out or for home visits. I feel God always sends his messenger for my help as I am his favorite child. I have faced so many situations that appeared to be difficult for everybody, but frankly speaking, I have never faced troubles because help was always sent to me before I ask for it.
Sangini Support Group
Sangini is a Breast Cancer support group in Indore. I met Anuradha Saxena for my lymphedema issues, and she is a gem of a woman. We arrange picnics where we connect with other cancer survivors too. I was not able to make chapattis because of Lymphedema as I was scared that it would increase, but when I saw other survivors doing their routine chores and managing Lymphedema, it motivated me a lot. Anuradha Saxena was always there to guide and support me.
Don't ask 'why me,' because it is like questioning God. Have faith in God; he has reasons for everything he does. Face everything very happily and courageously. We are God's child, don't grudge upon things, count your blessings, and rather than crying, think about the solutions. People should not get scared by hearing that it's cancer because there are treatments, and you can get cured. I want to motivate people and make them fearless.
Why wait for the storms to pass? Why not learn to dance in the rain?