Sharmila Date (Cervical Cancer): “Believe in oneself.”

cervical cancer survivor sharmila date

Cervical Cancer Diagnosis

 

I was in the US in 2018, visiting my daughter, when I suddenly fell sick. I was hospitalized and found that I had a cyst in my ovary with puss accumulation. The treatment was completed there itself, and I came back to India.

 

I was going for regular check-ups, and everything was fine. But around May 2019, when I was going through my menopause period, I started feeling a pain in my lower back, and I was getting constipation, which I had never previously had in my life. I used to get tired very soon and was losing weight quickly. In just one year, I had lost around 15kg. I had been working out during that time and thought that the weight loss was due to that.

 

In June, the pain in the lower abdomen became unbearable. When I consulted a hospital, the doctor said that there was a cyst in the ovary, but there was some other issue as my vaginal area was in a very delicate state. I took a second opinion, and the doctor immediately asked me to get admitted and told me that it would either be a malignancy or TB. I was still in denial, but a week later, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer when the biopsy reports came. My daughter had come down to India, and we opened the reports together. I was in a shock for almost an hour, my daughter was rubbing my back, and both of us had tears in our eyes. She said, “It’s okay, mom, we will come out of it,” and was my biggest support throughout my cervical cancer journey. I was shaken because it was cervical cancer stage 3A, which meant that an operation was not possible as the cells were poorly differentiated.

 

The doctor called me and beautifully explained everything, that half of my fear vanished. He said that there was a cure, and they had cases before where patients at this stage had recovered completely.

Cervical Cancer Treatment

We went to the hospital, and the doctor gave me confidence that I will come out of it through radiation. I was asked to have 25 sessions of radiations and 2 Brachytherapy sessions.

 

My way of dealing with it was always looking forward to what’s next; I never asked myself the question – “why me.” It was difficult; I had no control over my bowel movement and urinary tract, which hurt immensely. So I would pray to the universe to give me strength, and somehow I used to get that strength to face it. Despite all the problems, the positivity always stayed in me. I had started following Sai Baba at that time, and his words of Faith and Patience helped me immensely.

 

I always thought that I have gone through so much already that I can go through this too. I had the complete support of my family and friends. Not once I went alone for the radiation; there was always someone who would accompany me. I used to pass smiles to other patients to cheer them up.

 

My radiations got over, and I had to do a PET scan in 2 months. But when I got my PET scan done, we got to know that cancer was still there. I was heartbroken because you feel free when you look forward, and then you get to see that it’s not gone. I cried a lot, but my family and friends pulled me out of it.

 

The doctors asked to start the chemotherapy, so I had to take six chemotherapy sessions. After the first chemotherapy session, I noticed that I had lost some hair while taking a shower. I realized that when it comes out, it starts hurting, and it was falling everywhere. I thought that I would get bald anyway, so I went to the parlor and told them to shave it off. At the same time, I started the homeopathy treatment to manage the side effects, which helped me a lot. I stayed positive and kept giving myself the affirmation that I am strong and healthy.

 

During the chemotherapy sessions, I also used to take Pranic healing from an expert, which helped me a lot. I didn’t have nausea, and the only thing I felt was tiredness. I diligently followed all the diet that the doctor suggested, high protein diet, sprouts, and salads.

 

In January again, I had the PET scan, where we found that the malignancy was not there, but the thickening of the wall was still there. So, to be on the safe side, I had to undergo three more doses of chemotherapy, and finally, on 19th March, I completed all my treatment.

 

Slowly, my energy level started coming up; I cannot walk much because my joints and muscles have become weak, but the homeopathy treatment has helped me a lot. At the end of July, I again went for the PET scan, after postponing it for three months because of the lockdown. The reports came all good that nothing was there, and even the cyst in my ovaries disappeared. The doctor who did my examination was pleased, and he said that even though mine was a severe case, I was free from cervical cancer just after a year. The only thing that I have to do now is to do follow-up visits regularly.

 

My body is a temple

I keep having interaction with the universe. I want to inspire people, reach out to them, and tell them that there is more to life. By God’s grace, I got timely help, and my doctors, family, friends, and relatives kept me motivated. A patient needs love, affection, and the motivation to come out of it, and that is what I got from my doctors, nurses, family, and friends.

 

I believe that you have to be positive and have faith in God. I always had faith in God. I realized that my body is my temple, I need to respect it, take care of it, and God resides within me, so I should value that. I started listening to my body on what it wants. I started creating a balance between body, mind, and soul. I started the practice of accepting myself as I am, forgiving myself, and loving myself unconditionally.

 

I realized that I had come here to do service and live life more at the moment. I left behind all the worries because that was garbage. I always keep the child within me alive.

Parting message

Caregivers need to be patient, understand what the patient is going through, and support the patient unconditionally.

 

The patient should never lose hope; hope is the strength that we have. Have faith and strength, and accept what is coming to you.  There are moments where you feel low, but you must keep talking to yourself and listen to some soothing music. Be positive and keep the child within you alive. Believe in oneself.