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Divya Sharma (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia): I Had Cancer; Cancer Didn't Have Me

Divya Sharma (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia): I Had Cancer; Cancer Didn't Have Me

Detection/Diagnosis

In 2017, when I was thinking of making my life smooth, I faced some unusual health issues like a blood blister in my mouth, continuous menstrual flow for one month, greenish spots on my body, feeling hot even in winter, bleeding from the nose, and short of breath. We consulted at least 5-6 doctors within a few hours, and one of the doctors said it's neither Dengue nor Anaemia, it is something major and insisted that I had to get my tests done and be admitted to the hospital as soon as possible. I was shocked because I was in the middle of my semester exams—how could I be admitted to the hospital? When the reports came in, each one pointed closer to cancer, and I was kept in the dark about it. Within a few hours, we moved to Ahmedabad for further tests and treatment.

Unaware that I was being taken to a Cancer Hospital for exact diagnosis testing, I underwent many tests, including a Biopsy. The Biopsy reports revealed that I was suffering from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

Treatment

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

treatment

February 13, 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 the second one as well.

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 prepared for the worst. I was taken to the ventilator, and it was a very traumatic experience (more so 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 coping with this emotional rollercoaster ride, I tested positive for typhoid, and just one day when it came negative in my reports, I became positive for jaundice. The struggles continued until there came a time when my family and I felt everything was going well, and we all needed 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

Over time, it became more and more difficult for me to breathe, and we had to cancel all the plans and rush to the doctor. My reports indicated seasonal influenza, and I had to be admitted to the hospital immediately. I was given an oxygen mask and was taken to the ICU. Everything was going on so fast that it was hard for me to believe that I was not enjoying Ahmedabad, instead, I was in ICU, struggling to breathe.

My parents were told I had a lung infection that might be fatal, and there were no guarantees of my survival. With each passing day, I was given more and more oxygen through a mask. and there was a looming possibility that I might need a ventilator to survive or could die at any moment. 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

Support

Cancer is physically and mentally draining, but I had my family who always supported me. Their smiles always gave me the motivation to fight and keep moving forward. They were why I never 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, and I was able to survive against 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 every one 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 the truth in that statement. 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 now appreciate what I have, love myself more than ever, understand the importance of self-talk, live each day 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 reshaped me into a person I never thought I could be. I consider myself so lucky that the universe brought me on this journey, guided me through the dark phases, and helped me come out of everything stronger 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 key. Accept your situation and recognize the need to fight; once you do, you're already halfway there.

Don't take cancer as a 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 is divided 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 the cancer journey and 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.

">Watch My Journey Here

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