I am running the NGO after Anupama Negi (Breast Cancer survivor). I first joined the NGO, where I was treated by Anupama Negi. After her death, I joined the NGO. When I joined the NGO there were Doctors, who I have to prove that I can do it. Some patients who were treated by Anupama, they were not trusting me but I made my belief in them. Now it’s been more than 10 years that I am with the NGO.
How it started
It was 2008 when all this happened. Every time during my periods my breasts got heavy, I thought it’s just a hormonal change, nothing serious. In July 2008, I contacted a doctor, she recommended I go for mammography but I thought I have no issues so I left it. That was my mistake. After some time when I got a bloodstain on my gown, I went to the doctor where she recommended FNAC, mammography, and sonography. When the FNAC reports came it showed that some cells have Melan-C. The reports came positive. It was stage 3 Breast Cancer.
My husband and I went to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi. The Doctor whom we contacted was going out for 4-5 days so, we decided to go back to Indore as it’s our comfort zone. We were more comfortable there. We went to a hospital in Indore where the doctor said it has to be operated on.
On 22nd November, the surgery was done and my whole breast was removed. After that, I received 6 cycles of chemo, 5 weeks of radiation and then I was on hormonal therapy for 10 years.
When I got my first chemo, I lost hope. I met Anupama Negi during that time. She was a cancer fighter and also she was running an NGO, Sangini. She gave me hope, she counseled me. She inspired me to fight with it. When I have 3 more radiations left my husband got a heart attack. He was a healthy person and the only reason for the attack was his stress of thinking that I have Cancer. We took him to Delhi where the doctor asked him to go for a bypass. We went ahead. I went with him to the hospital. We both were standing for each other. I completed all the rounds of radiation and everything looked okay.
In 2019, we went for a Marathon with my team of Vijetas of Sangini. While running my foot started to hurt. I left it like that. On the next day, I went to the doctor and did my blood test. The reports were all clear. The doctor then asked me whether I have a temperature or not. I didn’t have a temperature but I felt like I had it in my body. He prescribed me some medicine. The same evening I had 104 degrees Celsius fever. My body was much cooler from the outside. I wasn’t feeling like I had a fever. I contacted my doctor and he asked me to get hospitalized. I got hospitalized. They conducted multiple tests but could not identify why I had a high fever. The doctor then suggested that I should get my MRI spine done based on my symptoms. MRI revealed that I have Cancer in my Spine with Bone Involvement. It was stage 4. They did my palliative radiation.
The journey was full of suffering and pain. For a month or so I was on complete bed rest. After all the struggle now I am perfectly fine. This is all because of the prayers by my family members, the people in Sangini, and by God’s grace.
Life lesson and changes
Believe in God, believe in your doctor, and believe in yourself. Don’t feel like “why me”. Take it as an opportunity that God has chosen you for this and trust Him in the journey.
After being diagnosed, I started having a healthy lifestyle. I started practicing yoga and exercise regularly. I started eating healthy and taking care of my body.
How do you keep your patients positive?
Whenever the patient or their family gets to know about the diagnosis I say if I can go through this anyone can. They see me as an inspiration to live. Seeing me alive, standing, and helping the patients in surviving gives them hope.
Cancer is just like a Marathon. You finish it happily and there is no turning back towards the past. Move ahead for the better days.
Moment to cherish-
Dr. Anupama Negi organized a press conference of All Indian pediatric doctors from India. She wanted to give them something which was made by me. I am good at art & craft. I used to make photo frames. She asked me to make 150 photo frames. This was the time I realized my ability. From that day I am into art and craft.
Believe in God. He will never do something to hurt you. I believe in him and I have left myself over him for everything.
Keep yourself positive. Start doing self-examination regularly from an early stage. Self-examination helps a lot. Self-examination helps to understand and fight the disease at an early stage.
Message to cancer patients
Live in the present. Do not worry about the past or the future. Just live in the current moment and enjoy. Do what you love the most, do what you think is good for you.