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Suman (Breast Cancer)

Suman (Breast Cancer)

Suman Varma's mother was diagnosed with the first stage of asymptomatic Breast Cancer twenty years ago. She shares her story as a caregiver and a daughter who fought with all her might to save her mother from the dreaded disease:

Rudimentary:

Twenty years ago, computers and Google had just arrived. It was traumatic back then. We didn't even know what questions to ask the doctor. A boy from our office had gone through chemo, and I asked him whether chemo was a pill or a tablet. He laughed at me and told me to google information about cancer. That set off my journey towards understanding this disease. By the time the second chemo came around, we had downloaded several hundred pages of information.

Challenges/Side:

Effects: My mother had experienced two remissions. But when cancer knocked on our doors for the third time and metastasized to several parts of the body, it was challenging. Nonetheless, the brave mother and daughter felt we could conquer it.

Family Support :

It was a difficult journey for all of us, but my mother was extremely graceful. There was some amount of bravado in the way we handled it, partly because of the asymptomatic nature and slightly because we were subconsciously in denial. I never gave up hope except on the last day when the doctor said, "the game is over." I pushed him aside and said, "go home. She is my mother, and I am not giving up only to be proven wrong.

Lessons:

If you know what the illness will do to your body, you will prepare your mind a little better. It was extremely traumatic towards the end. Dimple Parmar's ZenOnco.io and Love Heals Cancer taught me that eating the right kind of food, right medicines, and lifestyle changes can go a great way in healing.

The treatment many years ago was rudimentary, unlike today. My mother's condition was asymptomatic, so she never experienced what other people go through. I am working closely with the board of Win Over Cancer to help increase awareness about the disease.

Parting Message:

It's heartbreaking to witness your loved ones enduring physical pain. However, there's a silver lining: today, people are more hopeful due to increased awareness. Patients and caregivers receive more emotional and personal support. Cancer affects not just the patient but the whole family. Looking back, I realize that holding onto hope can be powerful, especially when reality seems bleak.

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