I am Nandini Sharma and I am 20 years old living in New Delhi. I got diagnosed with bone cancer when I was 16 years old. I got my treatment done in 2018. I am now three years cancer free.
It started when I started working out. I was normally working out and I had pain in my legs. I thought the exercises were working, but the next day it didn’t stop. I informed my parents. They took me to the Doctor and we got a few X-rays and MRIs done. I got biopsies done. I was diagnosed with bone cancer in my right leg.
After that, I had to start my treatment. Bone Cancer is either low grade or high grade. My cancer was high grade but localized. It was restricted to one area. I had to instantly start treatment. I was not able to mentally process the diagnosis.
After 20 days, I had to start my chemotherapy. I underwent 6 cycles of chemotherapy and had surgery in between. Bone Cancer Surgery was required to remove the tumor. I had to undergo 3 surgeries because of its failure.
My First Reaction:
I cried, but it didn’t hit me. I had Bone Cancer cancer. I looked up on social media and on the internet what treatment was like and would like. You have no idea of what you are going through.
Before my chemotherapy, I used to throw up. I didn’t want to do it. Just the hospital smell used to make me nauseous. It was really hard for my family.
I lost 15kgs. I had one cycle left. I was just bones and no flesh. I was bald. After surgery, I started crying. My parents made me talk to the doctors and psychologists. I thought to myself that I have come so far and if this is what I had to do, I just have to push through. There were times when I wanted to give up. Doctors gave me enough assurance. I had this positive mentality.
I have a younger brother and an elder sister. When Cancer treatment started, my Mother had to look after my brother and me both. I used to feel so bad. She had to take care of me like a baby.
There were little things that made me feel better. Even with my older sister, when she was in the UK, she used to call me. I had my family and friends beside me.
My friends took me to Goa on a wheelchair. I used to go out to parties.
My family was relying on me. They gave me support. If they can stand beside me, why not continue ahead? You have to be mentally strong. You can be unstoppable. If you can go through the worst situation, you can get through anything.
The entire hospital was really great. I had a great team of doctors. We cut a cake when we had the final Cancer treatment. I realized it wasn’t going to stop here.
I have accepted that our future is unpredictable. Live in the present. It is okay to feel vulnerable and let go of things which are not yours. You have to stop thinking about death.
I try to find inspiration. You have to find an incentive to live. Think about why you are fighting? I have so much to do in life.
I am just 19 years old.
I have started empathising with people. I try to make sure that people I talk to are comfortable. You never know what they are going through. It is important to stay kind. Hope is important. Love is the most important.