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Komal Ramchandani (Breast Cancer): the Healing Starts After Acceptance

Komal Ramchandani (Breast Cancer): the Healing Starts After Acceptance

Breast Cancer Diagnosis

My Breast Cancer journey began in 2016 when my daughter was just four. I felt a lump in my breast and a slight fever, which prompted me to go to my gynaecologist. At that time, my daughter had just left breastfeeding; hence, the doctor dismissed the lump, saying it could be because of that. I could feel the lump, but it didn't hurt at all. I asked the gynaecologist to check it, and he asked me to get an FNAC done. I got my FNAC done from a lab in Indore. The results revealed that there was no cancer. We were relaxed, and we left it at it. After quite a long time, when we were in Thailand, my lump became quite large. We came back to India and got my check-up done. I got my MRI done, which showed stage 3 Breast Cancer.

Breast Cancer Treatment

My husband wanted the best treatment, so we went to Mumbai, leaving our daughter with our joint family. The doctor said that my lump was quite big, so I should first go for my Chemotherapy cycles and then go for Surgery. He also diagnosed that I had cancer cells on the axilla part of the other arm, for which I would need another Surgery.

Initially, it was tough for me. I used to think it was a dream that I had Breast Cancer. It was my daughter who pushed me to fight against Breast Cancer. Since she was only four, I wanted to make sure that she always had her mom, and due to this need, I got back into daily activities.

After four cycles of Chemotherapy, I had my Surgery done and then did Radiation therapy. In March 2017, my whole Breast Cancer Treatment was completed.

Spirituality

When I was getting my Chemotherapy done, I was in Depression. I was in lots of Pain. One family member told me I should keep a spiritual connection, so I joined the Bhramhakumaris. I was wearing a scarf as I had no hair. I could not socialize, go outside, or meet my relatives, and at that time, that was the only place where they accepted me as I was. They also adjusted the timing of their classes for me, and that was where I connected with the divine.

The why me question was over when the acceptance of the disease came. After accepting, the healing starts, and you concentrate on the solution rather than the problem.

My Support System

My family was very supportive throughout my Breast Cancer journey. My husband was shocked, and I used to boost him, saying everything would be fine. My mother-in-law, sister and brother-in-law were also very supportive. I could leave my daughter with them and not worry about her. My father was always with me and accompanied me for every Chemotherapy session. My mom was my pillar of strength. It was her prayers that worked for me. She used to send food for me when I was taking my Chemotherapy in the hospital, and on Sundays, I used to look forward to that. When you have something to look forward to, the journey becomes much more accessible.

My daughter always kept me going. I wanted to give her the proper upbringing, so whenever I was broken or used to come back home after taking Chemotherapy, I used to think that my daughter had to submit her art project tomorrow and needed my help. Since it was her first year of school, I didn't want her teachers to believe she was lagging and should not feel the emptiness, which always kept me motivated. Even when I was in Pain, I used to forget about my Pain and used to do things with her.

Life after Cancer

Cancer changed me a lot. The Bhramhakumaris also had a very positive impact on me. I was a very different person in 2017. It's like there are two sides to me, i.e., first, Komal before cancer and second, Ko, mal after cancer. I was a completely different human being. Life got a new meaning, and I left everything we grudge upon. I got a new perspective on life and learned how important happiness is. We are not the body but the souls on this journey.

Life after cancer is beautiful; it is part of my articles, poems, or whatever I write. I always say that cancer has made me a better person, and I thank it for coming into my life because it has made me a better human being. I always feel I am blessed with much more than I deserve.

Breast Cancer Relapse

When I had a reoccurrence, I could accept it easily. It was not that difficult for me. Mastectomy was done during the first Breast Cancer occurrence. I had tiny mosquito bite-type spots, but I was ignoring them. I take Homeopathy treatment for normal cough and cold. So I went to my homoeopathic doctor, who said it was an allergy and gave me a treatment. But I should give it a bit more thought. I visited an oncologist in Indore for my mother-in-law since she had breast fibroids that needed to be checked every six months. I also went to the oncologist and got myself checked. The doctor gave me an anti-allergic medicine for three days and asked me to consult again if it did not recede.

I thought that since my mastectomy was already done, it would be on the other side if there would be a reoccurrence. But I never knew it could happen on the same side, too.

I had a massive Surgery where the doctors removed the flap from my back and placed it on my mastectomy side, and an oophorectomy was also done. It was a much more severe Surgery compared to the first one.

My surgeon asked me to consult a doctor from Tata Memorial Hospital, and then I started my Targeted therapy. It was a 21-day cycle, seven days break, and then seven days break, and then you had to undergo some tests, and again, the cycle started for 21 days. I have taken 15 cycles, and it is still going on. My doctor says I will have to take it for quite a long time or at least two years, and the rest depends on my recovery. I do write and also do a lot of art activities because all these things make me happy.

Cancer- A Blessing in Disguise

Quite soon after my second Surgery, I participated in an International Literature Festival and shared the stage with Nilotpal Mrinal, Rashmi Ramani and many other elite authors. There, I presented my poem again on cancer: "Jeevan me mere basant aaya hai, aur ye naya mausam mera cancer dost laya hai, in which I address cancer as a friend and a blessing in disguise.

((Poem))

Have faith in God

I connect with God very quickly; he is always with me. I can call and talk to him like usual when I am in trouble. I feel that I am God's favourite child, and he will not trouble me unnecessarily. There is a reason for everything. I strongly believe in God, and I call him "Baba. Why should I fear anything when my Baba takes care of the whole universe with me?

I have bilateral breast cancer, so I cannot be pricked on the arms for Blood Tests. So I have to get my blood drawn from my feet or port, but I haven't faced any trouble because some expert is always there to help me or for home visits. God always sends his messenger for my help as I am his favourite child. I have faced so many situations that appeared to be difficult for everybody, but frankly, I have never faced troubles because help was always sent to me before I asked for it.

Sangini Support Group

Sangini is a Breast Cancer support group in Indore. I met Anuradha Saxena for my lymphedema issues, and she is a gem of a woman. We arrange picnics where we connect with other cancer survivors, too. I could not make chapattis because of Lymphedema; I was scared it would increase. Still, seeing other survivors doing their routine chores and managing Lymphedema motivated me a lot. Anuradha Saxena was always there to guide and support me.

Parting Message

Don't ask 'why me,' because it is like questioning God. Have faith in God; he has reasons for everything he does. Face everything very happily and courageously. We are God's children; don't grudge upon things, count your blessings, and think about the solutions rather than crying. People should not get scared by hearing that it's cancer because there are treatments, and you can get cured. I want to motivate people and make them fearless.

Why wait for the storms to pass? Why not learn to dance in the rain?

https://youtu.be/X50npejLAe0
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