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Sitara Khan (Sarcoma Cancer Survivor)

Sitara Khan (Sarcoma Cancer Survivor)


I remember vividly, in 2009, at the age of 13, I started bleeding out of nowhere. My parents rushed me to the hospital, and I was discharged after staying there for 3-4 days. I went back home, and soon, the bleeding erupted again, with me being rushed to the hospital for the second time. This ordeal occurred in a recurring manner almost three to four times. Post that, the doctors recommended me being shifted to a Gurgaon hospital. I had gotten during my time there and felt more relaxed than before.

Soon after, my parents and I went to our village. It was there that the bleeding started again. The hospital and staff there werent equipped enough and were in a conundrum about how my bleeding could be stopped. Somehow they managed to do so. My parents decided to take me to Delhi, and on our way there, my bleeding started again. It was so acute that the train had to be halted, and a doctor had to be called, who treated me. The bleeding started again as soon as we resumed the journey, and my condition had worsened immensely. I was taken to a Gurgaon hospital, where the doctors suggested surgery. Soon, they refused to treat me on the grounds of my bleeding not stopping, and I was shifted to a hospital in Safdarjung. The latter also refused to treat me on the same grounds, but my father was determined to get me treated this time and somehow convinced the hospital to do so. As my body was highly devoid of blood, it was arranged for me, and eight units of blood were put in my body.

I stayed at that hospital for three months. I remember the agony I went through when I got my biopsy done. The doctors had not given me anaesthesia which led to immense pain, and almost 6-7 doctors were holding me as if I were an animal. Just recalling this particular incident still gives me goosebumps. I still ponder over why it happened to me. Eventually, cancer was diagnosed, and my chemotherapy started. The doctors recommended surgery and said the illness could not be cured without it. The surgery involved my uterus being removed, which translated that I could never become a mother in the future. My parents agreed to it; however, they were reluctant to sign the consent papers and asked the doctors to provide a complete guarantee of me being good post the surgery. The doctors could not guarantee that, and my parents gathered the courage to sign the papers. After the surgery, I had one chemotherapy session and was recommended radiotherapy. I went to have thirty radiotherapy sessions. I also had follow-up sessions for five years after that.

The entire process, however, was peppered with difficulties and hassles. My father even had an accident during that time, but he refused to lose hope and stood firm. He ended up selling a lot of his property as my treatment was financially exhausting. Societal pressure also existed at that point. My parents were suggested not to spend so much on my treatment as I am a girl and could not eventually become a mother. My parents did not pay heed to all of it and stood tall with their decision of getting me proper treatment. My father would say I am his son, as I do not have a brother and not becoming a mother was not the end of the world for me. Had it not been for my father and the ceaseless support he provided me with, I would not have been here, sharing my story with others. Eventually, I got to know about COMPANY NAME at a Diwali party, and they went on to provide me with a scholarship of Rs. 1 lakh to pursue engineering. I completed my engineering and am currently working as an assistant manager at the same organization. Financial support is integral in this process; had it not been for my father selling off his properties, I would not have received proper treatment. I request everyone to support children who are battling cancer and donate so that a lot more children can receive help along with a new lease of life.

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