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Kulwinder Lamba (Breast Cancer): Think Positive and Be Happy

Kulwinder Lamba (Breast Cancer): Think Positive and Be Happy

Breast Cancer Diagnosis

In 1996, I felt a lump in my breast, so I consulted a general doctor who operated on it and sent it for a Biopsy. The biopsy reports came back normal, which was a sigh of relief.

Four months went well, but then I started having pain at the same place. We went to the doctor, and he said it was nothing major, but it may reappear many times, and he then removed it again. I had the biopsy done, and it was again negative.

In November, it started to pain again, so I consulted a doctor who asked me for FNAC, which came back positive. I was diagnosed with breast cancer, which was a big shock for us. I didn't sleep for the whole night and cried a lot.

I had two daughters and a son who was just eight. Back then, there was no cancer awareness; everyone thought it was incurable. But somehow, I gathered my strength and decided to proceed with the treatment.

Breast Cancer Treatment

I had an uncle who had been a cancer patient, so I discussed everything with him, and he suggested I visit an oncologist. We consulted the doctor, who repeated my FNAC and asked for the previous samples. He analyzed those samples and informed us that they were positive. The false laboratory reports had wasted our six months. He said that I had to undergo a mastectomy. At that time, mastectomy was a huge thing, but we had no other option.

There was no such need for Chemotherapy, but the doctor advised us to go for six chemotherapy cycles to be safer. There was no awareness of prostheses or bras for mastectomy patients. After trying many different things, we learned that a small shop in a local market manufactured custom-made foam-based brassieres. I got fitting undergarments from there, which was a great sigh of relief.

While taking Chemotherapy, I connected with the members of the Indian Cancer Society, who also asked me to join them after my treatment. Thankfully, my chemotherapy felt very light, and I did not lose much of my hair, but the significant side effect in my case was Vomiting. There was no one to guide me for a proper diet or a healthy lifestyle. My family, kids, and husband supported me a lot. No one made me realize that I had Breast cancer and was undergoing a cancer journey.

I took a six-month gap after my chemotherapy sessions and later joined the Indian Cancer Society. I visited hospitals every Monday and helped them by providing moral support, brassieres, and prostheses.

I was on a medicine named Nolvadex. I had to go for my monthly follow-ups, but later, the time expended. During one of those follow-ups, I found that the Breast Cancer had relapsed and was in the other breast now. I underwent a lumpectomy, chemotherapy sessions, and radiation therapy. This time, I lost my hair, which was morally very devastating for me. I did not want my children to see me without hair, so I settled for a wig.

Life was going well, and I was just on medications. But a few years later, my eldest daughter, expecting her first baby, found a knot in her breast, which the doctors waived off as a milk gland enlargement. They said it would subside once she delivered and started feeding the baby. But, even then, it did not reduce, and she complained of pain in her breast. The doctors asked for an MRI and mammography, and soon after, she was diagnosed with stage 3 Breast Cancer. Her baby was just 40 days old, and she was very depressed by her diagnosis. She underwent Chemotherapy, and the lump gradually subsided. It has been three years now, and she is healthy now. She has to undergo a PET scan every six months and takes Xeloda.

I still go to hospitals and counsel and guide cancer patients. I do not want anyone to suffer from what I have suffered. I guide patients about nutrition and prostheses. I motivate them to be happy because I believe that When you think positively, your body develops more healthy cells.

Parting Message

Acceptance is the key. It takes courage to accept, but you are already halfway done once you accept the situation. Be happy and positive because now we have more awareness and advanced treatments to treat cancer better.

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