Srishti (Ewing’s sarcoma): “The only option is not to give up”

SHRISHTI Cancer Fighter

I am someone who has seen a very close and dear one fighting this disease-my 18 year old sister- Sameeksha.

She fought it with all her courage and strength and to everyone’s surprise was strong enough to radiate her positivity to people surrounding her. She gave strength to me, our family and her friends and shared happiness with them with a reassuring smile on her face through all the pain which she rarely chose to share.

When she was diagnosed with cancer she had just turned 18 a month ago and had a lot of dreams and aspirations filled with immense energy and passion. I guess most of us at this age have many such ambitions and expectations from life without giving it a thought that how life can sometimes turn quickly from a friend to a foe.

But one thing which people around her eventually got to know was that she was not like any other person of her age. She was far ahead of that. She was someone who took this challenge thrown on her, head on and with all her vigour but with a soothing and pleasant smile on her face which acted as an immense support for everyone around her and kept our spirits high throughout the fight against cancer.

Young Cancer fighter

Seeing her smile through the immense pain she had to bear, gave me the courage to not get disheartened over small problems of life, which earlier used to bother me every now and then. It taught me to stay strong and fight with all that I have, come what may. I try to implement it in my daily life but I know I haven’t attained the spirit which she used to have even through that difficult phase. Though I realize that the pain I bear and the problems I face are nothing in front of her fight and so try to develop a personality as of hers to endure the pain with a glowing face. But as I’m new to this practice so I always feel her absence, I wish she could herself teach me this. She fought as a warrior, as a fauzi(soldier)- people around her used to call her this since she was a child given her fighting spirit, maybe she had it in her since always.

The picture was taken in the hospital a week after her spine surgery

She lived as a brave person not caring about what the society might think of, and loved to challenge and change it whenever she got an opportunity, and when she didn’t get one, she used to make one on her own. Such a vibrant personality she was and I consider myself fortunate to have such a person as my younger sister, my close friend and an immense support as well as someone who told me the real way of living life- Bravely- fighting with the odds.

Today, it’s been a year since I have talked to her, I have hugged her and had just been around her. It’s been a year since she has made fun of me sharing with me a heartfelt laughter. It’s been a year since she has rested in peace giving the world around her a more meaningful reason to live for, a way to a purposeful life.

I miss her every day, every moment and will have to live the rest of my life with that never ending void. It becomes difficult sometimes to gather the strength to move on with life but whenever her smiling face, her liveliness and the fire she had to change things around her, to change the way people have to suffer due to such diseases, come across my mind it becomes a bit easy to start working towards making the most of the life I have, to fulfil her dreams along with mine.

She never wanted anyone to go through the same suffering she had to face. Though she never shed a tear when she was diagnosed with cancer and the harsh treatment she went through, but whenever she heard of someone diagnosed with the same disease I could see the pain she used to feel for that person. It got reflected in her eyes. She always used to say –

“Will they also have to undergo the same treatment that I have taken? Will they have to bear the same pain? I wish they don’t have to face what I had to.

I want to do something for cancer patients so that they don’t have to bear the same pain”

All I would like to say is that just forget that “giving up” is an option available to you. Fight, fight with all that you have- be it for yourself or for a loved one in need (don’t ever leave their side till the battle is not won). Nobody knows what it would end with, but even if the end is not pleasant then also there must not be a reason to stop trying because in that case we have already dimmed and in fact killed our chances of winning. If deterministic attempts are being taken to defeat the disease against all odds then things will be brighter, we may win. In any case, the only option is not to give up.

I would like to end it with a few lines –

“Everything can be taken from a man BUT one thing: the last of the human freedoms-to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances. So no matter how dire your circumstances may seem now, the manner in which you deal with life’s blows is a ‘spiritual freedom’ that makes life meaningful and purposeful.”

After all, everybody dies but not everybody lives and I am glad that my sister lived her life to the fullest. She inspired everyone around her to cherish what we have got, to make the most of the time we have got on this planet.

Young cancer fighter
Sameeksha in her happier times