Biren was in the boarding school from the age of 9 & Sonal was day-schooled. When Biren was in 7th standard & Sonal was in 5th Standard, their mother got diagnosed with breast cancer. Since a number of people in their family had cancer previously, they both had a brief idea about what the disease was.
Breast Cancer Detection/Diagnosis
It was in 1977 when their mother got diagnosed with breast cancer, at the age of 37. Both of them were too young at that time, but due to the cancer history in the family, both knew how dreadful it was.
Their mother had told them that her breast cancer was fast-growing cancer. While she was taking her treatment at Jaslock Hospital in Mumbai, Sonal stayed at home, while Biren was in boarding school. Their mother underwent a mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation. The treatment was very aggressive, and their mother became very frail, dark, thin, and bald, but she never gave up hope. It was only when their grandmother passed away, that the deterioration in their mother’s health started since she was her anchor. When the autopsy of our grandmother was done, we found that she also had cancer.
When Biren was in the 12th standard & Sonal was in the 10th Standard, doctors indicated that their mother’s cancer had spread everywhere, and there was no hope on how long she will live. Both the children were not aware of this news then.
Both the children left for Mumbai on the same day that their Std 12 & Std 10 Board Exams got over. They went straight to Jaslock Hospital Mumbai on the same day, and were with their mother till around ten at night. The next day, they spent the whole day with her, and that was the first time when they heard her say that she was dying. They got frightened and panicked, didn’t know what to say. At the end of the day, they came back, and their father came to the hospital to stay the night there. The same night at one o’clock, she left for her heavenly abode. And then a few months later, her father passed away. That period was very traumatic, as the children lost both their mother and three of their grandparents, all within a span of two years.
They describe their mother as a strong person; and as a real fighter, but her breast cancer got detected quite late. She was regular in visiting doctors, heeding their advice and in taking her medication and attending to her treatments. She always had a never die- come what may attitude.
Be aware of your body; if you notice any changes, please go and get yourself checked because early detection is essential in cancer treatment. Be regular in your treatment and do what your doctors advise. Be strong and don’t give up.