Divya Sharma (ALL): “I had Cancer, but Cancer didn’t had me.”

Divya Sharma acute lymphoblastic leukemia survivor

Detection/Diagnosis

 

In 2017, when I was thinking of making my life smooth, I faced some unusual health issues like blood blister in my mouth, regular menstrual flow for one month, greenish spots on my body, feeling hot in winters too, bleeding from the nose, and short of breathing. We consulted at least 5-6 doctors in just a few hours, and one of the doctors said it’s neither Dengue nor Anaemia, it is something major, and I have to get my tests done and admitted to the hospital as soon as possible. I was shocked because in between my semester exams, how can I get admitted to the hospital.  When reports came, every report was getting me closer to cancer, and I was kept away from this news. In just a few hours, we moved to Ahmedabad for my further tests and treatment.

 

Being unaware of the fact that I was moved to Cancer Hospital and was having tests for its exact diagnosis, I underwent many tests, including biopsy. When biopsy reports came, it showed that I was suffering from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

 

Treatment

After consulting doctors in Jaipur, Delhi, and Mumbai, we finally decided to have my treatment from Ahmedabad.

 

13 Feb 2017 was scheduled for my first chemo, and I was nervous about it because, at that time, I didn’t know how chemo is given to a cancer patient. I took my first chemo while chanting Mahamrityunjay Mantra, and likewise the second too.

 

It was time for my third chemo, which was just before one day of my birthday. I was never that much excited for any of my birthdays like I was for 28 Feb 2017. I was to have my third chemo on 27 Feb, but suddenly, I started having convulsions. Doctors said there might be two reasons for it, first that I might have a brain hemorrhage or second, that cancer cells might have gone to my brain, and in both cases, there were no chances of surviving. So my family was told to be ready for the end. I was taken to the ventilator, and it was a very traumatic experience (more for my family). Somehow by everyone’s blessings and some unknown powers, after being in ICU for seven days, I came out alive.

 

Later I underwent more 21 rounds of chemo sessions and 10-12 radiation and was medically declared as cancer-free.

 

Cancer-free- Really?

By the time I was cancer-free, I was so exhausted and tired mentally. While dealing with the emotional rollercoaster ride, I was diagnosed positive for typhoid, and just after one day when it came negative in my reports, I became positive for jaundice. Likewise, the struggles continued, and then there came a time when my family and I felt everything is going well, and it’s been too much for everyone, so we should have a break.

 

In September 2018, while going for regular follow-ups, we planned to join clowning and enjoying 3-4 days in Ahmedabad. But life is never according to your plans. Just before two days of my appointment with the doctor, I joined clowning. I was so happy that I made some of those kids fighting with cancer happy, but who knew with that happiness I’ll also be taking seasonal influenza with me while leaving that hospital.

 

Fight or Die Situation Again

With the pass of time, it became more and more difficult for me to breathe, and we had to cancel all the plans and rush to the doctor. It was seasonal influenza in my reports, and I had to get admitted to the hospital as soon as possible. I was given an oxygen mask and was taken in ICU. Everything was going on so fast that it was hard for me to believe that I am not enjoying at Ahmedabad, but I am in ICU and is struggling to breathe.

 

My parents were told I had an infection in my lungs, and it might be the end, and they can’t guarantee if I will be back or not. With each passing day, I was given more and more oxygen through a mask. There could be a condition anytime when I’ll be needing a ventilator to survive, or I can die at any moment. But luckily, after being in ICU for 15 days and after seeing death so closely, I was able to survive; again. Who can even imagine that life can play with you like this, when we were about to have a break from everything and were about to enjoy for 3-4 days, we were in the hospital for 20 days, and I was fighting to survive.

 

I had an Army of people with me

Cancer is physically and mentally draining, but I had my family who always supported me. Their smile always gave me motivation to fight and keep going. They were the reason I never even thought of giving up.

 

I had my friends, relatives, and even strangers who always prayed for me. I don’t even know how many people blessed me with their blessings, and I was able to survive through all the odds. I owe my life to every known and unknown person who supported me on this journey, and I am very grateful to each of them.

 

Cancer has been a blessing for me

I have always heard that everything happens for a reason, but this journey made me realize it. I think that, had I not been diagnosed with cancer, then I might have completed my graduation and would have continued my studies, but the lessons that cancer taught me, I would have never learned in my entire life. These lessons were more important for me than my graduation degree. I appreciate the things I have, I love myself more than ever before. I learned the importance of self-talk. I live my life fully and take every day as a blessing. I started doing things I never thought I could. I am much stronger and happier than ever before. Cancer has wholly shaped me into a person I was never before or couldn’t even think of being one. I feel I am lucky that Universe brought me on this journey, put me through dark phases, and helped me in coming out of everything like a Phoenix.

 

There were many problems, many traumatic situations, but there was always a way to come out of it, and the Universe always helped me and my family to come out of everything much stronger.

 

Parting Message

 

Acceptance is the key, accept that okay this is the situation, we are in this situation, and we have to fight with this; once you accept this, you are already halfway done.

 

Don’t take cancer as your death certificate, instead take it as a birth certificate of cancer and make sure that you make the worst death certificate of cancer.

 

When you are diagnosed with cancer, your life divides into two parts, i.e., life before cancer and after cancer. And trust me, life after cancer is worth fighting for. So hang in there; don’t lose hope. You will never regret fighting it. You will become a completely better version of yourself. So never give up. Take one day at a time and go with the flow of life. Don’t just smile but laugh till your stomach hurts; I have laughed a lot during my cancer journey that people used to call me crazy. Do the things you love. Be weird. And believe in the power of the Universe because it knows what is right for you.

You can read Divya’s full article from the link below:

Divya Sharma- From Darkness to Light

Divya sharma acute lymphoblastic leukemia survivor
Some of Divya's beautiful art