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By Meherangez Mistry and Vaseem Chaudhary

After achieving a certain age, looking after oneself becomes a daily task.  I hope reading a positive story from another survivor is reassuring and makes you feel stronger.

It has been eleven years since the detection of my breast cancer and the traumatic two years of treatment.  As I recollect and remember the trauma and what my family had to bear, I recognize that although I was the patient, going thru the pain and the side effects of the treatment, my family was deeply affected and emotionally broken from seeing me suffer.

It was June 2010 and I was enjoying a Roger Federer tennis final when  I felt a lump on my left breast, just by chance, which started my two-year battle with cancer including mastectomy, care and recovery.  My husband and my mum took full charge of me and the home in every way.  Hubby-dear took to his new culinary role and he almost forgot he had major back problems.  Mum would sit by my side just stroking my pain away.  My sons, daughters-in-law, brother sister, family and friends called and checked on me daily.  

You see mastectomy is not just a physical pain, but it emotionally drains you.   Dreams are frightening–wondering how the body will hold up to the post-chemo reactions.  My biggest fear from the start was how others, especially my hubby, would accept me after the mastectomy.  It makes a woman feel so inadequate and deficient.  I now know Beauty from within—it’s nothing physical. 

Tables have turned now and I am the principal support and caregiver to my hubby. I have just had both my two cataract surgeries done and busy with major dental repairs.  I try to stay healthy, active and useful, attempt to keep my systems going, especially for my octogenarian hubby and Paratrooper who is now on a wheelchair.  The trauma, the hospital stays, the cancer ward are all behind me and the turbulent times are a thing of the past.  I thank God constantly, pray to Him, thank Him, that he chose me to fight this, and not anybody from my family or friends.

Here are some other suggestions for dealing with cancer:

  1. Think about how you can best face it all–detection and acceptance of the problem is key.
  2. Start by questioning your doctors on everything big or small and then trusting in them fully.
  3. Take you medication and eat correct as advised by your doctor.
  4. If it helps, pray to God to see you through the treatment for He knows best.
  5. And don’t forget your Attitude of Gratitude to all once you have recovered.  Be a support and  candle to others in their journey to recovery.

In conclusion, we are always just a phone call away for anyone in need of support, be it the patient or  family members.

Yours in friendship,

Meherangez Mistry