Iresha is a Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer survivor. She is an assistant researcher in the California Institute of Integral Studies, but after cancer, she is popularly known as a cancer survivor. She currently resides in Calcutta with her family.
Her cancer journey
And it was February 2019 when She got to know that she had Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She was very calmly informed by her doctor that she was suffering from Hodgkin’s lymphoma and it was a very curable disease. 90% of the people who have the disease get recovered, so she would have to undergo some chemotherapy sessions. That’s when it struck Iresha that she had cancer. She confirmed with her doctor once again whether the cancer was diagnosed. Her doctor said in affirmative and assured her to keep calm as it was curable. When Iresha heard for the first time about her cancer the first thought which came to her mind was, Is this the end of her life? But instantly she thought it was certainly not. And this positive thought played a very important part in her road to recovery.
So, after that, she got her first chemo at CMC Vellore and then came back to Calcutta and luckily got in touch with Doctor Shilpa Bhatia leukemia specialist.
Iresha used to get bad coughs and fever frequently. Also, her energy levels had dropped significantly. Mood swings and weight loss are accompanied by low counts in hemoglobin levels and increased WBC counts.
First of all, she was supposed to take 12 cycles of chemotherapy, and thereafter her doctor would decide the next line of treatment according to her response to the drugs. After taking six or seven cycles of chemotherapy, the tumor did not decrease, it was increasing. So, it was decided that Iresha would undergo a bone marrow transplant procedure. But before the transplant, she had to take a few chemotherapy sessions which were stronger than the earlier ones.
Family’s Support and care
Her family came to know about her disease before Iresha got to know. So, they were very worried about her reaction and ability to digest the devastating news. Her doctor broke the news in a very calm and gentle way saying it was just cancer – a very normal disease that could be cured. Initially, Iresha couldn’t absorb the severity of her condition, but afterward, when she showed resilience and accepted the reality, her family was relieved and assured her of the best treatment possible. Her family’s support and positive attitude helped her to face cancer head-on. According to her father-in-law, her cancer was only a virus of cancer, which would be completely cured. Her doctors also said that it is just cancer and with proper treatment, things will be normal again. So, with the support of her family, doctors, friends, and well wishes, Iresha received enormous strength and power to undergo her treatment
Side effects of the treatment
She experienced common side effects of chemotherapy like vomiting, drowsiness, uneasiness, and acidity. Luckily, she didn’t lose her hair and she was glad for that, but later came to know that it wasn’t a good sign as it meant that her chemo was not working properly for her.
Change in perspective after cancer
Iresha believes that cancer happened to her because of the greater good. She now receives so much love and life has completely changed. She now sees the glass as half full rather than it being half empty.
Advice for cancer survivors
According to her, If someone has cancer, then what can he/she do really? One can’t do anything about it. One can be very negative at times because the treatment process is very tough, and experience lots of pain and discomfort. But in the end, just remember if the treatment saves life then why to give up. Ultimately the fact that one’s life is saved is more important than the pain and difficulty of treatment which is temporary. Trust your therapists and complete your treatment. She too had her bad days and left like giving up once while undergoing the bone marrow transplant, but she fought bravely and came out of that phase as a winner. It was the divine and the universal energy that held her back and gave her immense strength to face her situation.
Three life lessons after cancer
As per her, there are many lessons to be learned. First, one must be positive and see life differently. And if you can’t be positive all the time, then at least be neutral. Don’t be negative. Don’t see the negative sides all the time, because if you are seeing the negative sides, if you are constantly thinking of the negatives you are attracting the negative zone. Try to be happy deep inside then only you can survive these hard situations. Love your family and support them by completing the treatment successfully and accept all the blessings which the universe showers upon you. Cherish the new life God has given you and always count your blessings. Love the newer version of yourself and look into the mirror and say you are beautiful, and life is beautiful too. Just feel the love around you and just don’t see the hatred and fear around you. You come out as a new person after undergoing the treatment successfully, so learn to appreciate life and people who matter to you.
Summing up the journey in one sentence
It was a tough journey but certainly not a bitter one.
Helping cancer patients
Iresha has a YouTube channel called C positive by Iresha and a Facebook page C positive, where she has shared her experiences and realizations of her cancer journey.
Hope this article motivates people out there who have traveled or been traveling through cancer.