My sister-in-law was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 when it was at an extremely early stage. She underwent six cycles of chemotherapy as part of her healing process and emerged victorious in the deadly battle. Additionally, she had to take radiation therapy to complement her treatment. Though she recovered once, there were two relapses that her body couldn’t bear. She passed away in 2015, but her story lives on, and her courage continues to inspire all of us to this date. The more people know about her journey, the prouder we feel because we know that it will give renewed hope to every cancer survivor and fighter out there.
Several people have asked us if she opted for an alternative treatment method. So, to begin with, she entirely relied on medical aid and no other healing. Ayurveda is a shared branch that people try because it has worked well in several cases. However, everyone needs to understand that Ayurveda is only there to help you tackle the pain and side-effects, but it is not a substitute for chemotherapy. Thus, you must seek professional help and carry on with chemotherapy instead of giving it a miss. Though my sister had visited Dharamshala, the alternative measures failed to show any effects on her.
I feel that the diet you follow is crucial. It is why you must have a special menu that helps you to get all the nutrients that you lose during the strenuous chemotherapy sessions. The doctors prescribed her a routine of eating habits and dishes that would replenish the lost energy. It is excellent, in my opinion, and also speeds the recovery process.
We do not have any complaints regarding the medical aids we got. On the contrary, the doctors were accommodating and took time out to discuss the possible treatments and how to go about it. We had full faith in the experts at our service, and there was never any confusion regarding the procedure either. The best part of being treated by such experienced medical staff is that you can have blind faith in them because they understand the human body and the treatment needs. Right from preparing the fighter to ensuring that the chemo sessions are done timely and accurately, the doctors helped us in every way possible.
My sister-in-law’s personal and professional life were undoubtedly affected by her cancer. She has a daughter who was expecting childbirth during her treatment. So, my sister-in-law was unable to attend the deliveries for two consecutive years. It is a tender period when a daughter needs her mother the most, but the circumstances were such that she couldn’t. After her recovery, she traveled abroad and took a break from the monotonous life here, but it relapsed.
On the work front, she was associated with Air India as an assistant manager and took a break from work during her treatment. I remember she was diagnosed one year before her retirement, and after her recovery, she was delighted to get back to work. However, she worked only for a few weeks before she retired officially. She was highly dedicated to excellence, and her work records speak for her skills.
There has been a strong family history where we have lost cousins, aunts, and grandmother to cancer. Since we understand that genes can also lead to the development of cancer cells in the body, she had visited the doctor earlier to take precautions. I feel that removing the ovaries at that time could have saved her. I always believe that precaution is better than cure. However, the doctor had told us that it is not needed, and we believed him.
My sister-in-law was a very positive person. Though she had her share of ups and lows during treatment, it did not affect her genuine disposition. Some of the side-effects that she experienced were cough and dizziness. When she was fine and able to support her body, she would go on walks and maintain physical fitness as far as possible. It is noteworthy that she had no problems such as an imbalanced blood pressure of diabetes- these have become increasingly common in people of all ages now.
Coming to her role model, she did not have one but many. She was in constant touch with some of her colleagues, who were cancer survivors. It gave her immense strength and courage to face the disease. She felt that if others can do it, then she can do it too. We were impressed with the optimistic school of thought, and this indeed gave hope to all of us. I was always there by her side because she was very dear to me. Though we had our brothers and her husband around us all the time, a lady’s support is essential, and we cannot overlook it.
My message to every cancer fighter is to be positive and not give up hope. A neighbor in the vicinity is a cancer survivor and ran a marathon of 21 km. My point is that such inspirational people are all around us, and we must look up to them. A positive vibe is all it takes to make a difference!