Welcome to Bangalore Cancer Support group (Connect to Heal) Blog page

Welcome to Bangalore Cancer Support Group (Connect To Heal) Blog Page
Contact us : Cancer.survivors.help@gmail.com
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Friday, June 27, 2014

Ajitha's story (Breast Cancer survivor)

Uninvited Guest.
(As narrated by Ajitha(translated by Padma Mahadev)
 After my husband’s death I moved  to Bengaluru to be with my eldest daughter- my two other daughters are in USA.. Eldest daughter had to move to Chennai . I longed for visitors and God sent me a Visitor!
Who was the guest? CANCER!- Breast cancer!! Although I was living on my ,own, I did not panic or lose hope. I held on to my courage and fought like the famous Indian queen of Jhansi. The love, support and prayers of my loved ones helped me to overcome this ordeal. Roles changed! My daughters became my Mother and their spouse my sons!! My illness also brought home my loved ones as visitors . After the initial treatment was over, they  arranged for a home nurse to help me out . I remember the time ,when my daughters were leaving -seeing them go, couldn’t control the tears in my eyes and my daughter stopped and said – Mother seeing those tears my legs refused to move and they changed their travel plans!! This made me pull in all my resources and love concern for them to let them go back to their lives. It was agonizing to see them go and I was paralyzed for 12 hours.
At the time of surgery my jewels were replaced with tubes and I smiled at the sight and the nurse was shocked to see me smile at such a grave moment and she also smiled when I explained and those are my different type of jewels.
My eldest  son-in law would come down from Chennai  during the chemo therapy. While undergoing chemo, I was reminded of Chandra Gupta  Maurya and the Vish Kanyas, who were fed with poison from an young age and  they were used to kill the enemies of the state. Similarly to destroy Cancer I became vish kanya. (poison maiden) Don’t  be alarmed, I am not going to harm anybody! This poison will only affect me and like Mira’s poison this became nectar. I had to undergo 3 chemos  and 25 radio therapy and followed by another  3 more chemo’s. All the 4 doctors were very competent and treated me with love and care. Their team work gave me confidence and I decided to work at recovering my old life. I feel thankful to God for this grace. My second son-in-law supported me during the radiation treatment which was in Ramiah quite a distance from my residence. I looked forward to the daily trips and visualized that as a picnic and reminded myself to be cheerful and enthusiastic
Post Chemo, I started losing hair, fortunately, was not totally bald. It was second childhood for me and real childhood for my grand daughter ! There was competition between us as to whose hair was growing faster,the difference being she had black hair and mine is grey!! My granddaughter was used my visits during her summer vacation and she would phone me asking why I was not going this time. She would beg me with promises that we will have fun ., little knowing that  ‘fun’ for me was radiation,i.v and tests. She felt confused that her grandmother who speaks  so lovingly on the phone was n;ot coming to be with her.
This uninvited visitor taught me many lessons. There was a change in me. I recognized who were my real friends. I also became aware of my supportive friends from Nagpur, Gujrath,Mumbai,Pune,USA- people from all over reached out to me. I got acquainted with other cancer support groups-Ashtha Breast Cancer group in particular,  chairperson -Madhavi tai would keep sending encouraging messages that helped me. I heard of Connect To Heal, after my treatment was over. The meetings held was close to my house-this is like the child is in the house, yet I go searching all over the town for the child!!  I do not attend their meetings regularly due to my Sanskrit classes, bhajan mandali and travelling all over to different temples and other places of interest. They are my local support and clarify any doubts that plague me.
I acknowledge my gratitude to this ‘Visitor’, who along with anguish and pain has also given me many blessings. My faith in God has multiplied. The timid girl of past has become Jhansi Ki Rani. Reading this you may conclude that life is a bed of roses for me-on the contrary- there are troubles and I have learnt now ,to look at it from a different  perspective. THIS MADE A DIFFERENCE! Five years ago an Instructor from Vivekananda Yoga Kendra had said Enjoy the pain! I use to wonder- how can this be? Now, I am beginning to grasp that message. Instead of changing the situation Change Self. Share joy with others.
Jyoth se jyoth lagate chalo,
Anand ki Ganga bahate chalo. 
Ajitha has started a Prayer Group. Anyone who wants to be prayed for and would like to join are welcome.anyone who wishes are welcome .

She can be contacted at 91-9900870046.)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Story of a Young Mother, HODGKIN’s ’LYMPHOMA Cancer survivor.

Shalini Chaudhri Jacob

"Life was good and I really couldn’t have asked for more. 7 yr old daughter , husband , my career , maid issues , friends , balancing between PTM and business reviews, unutilized gym memberships, parties, the struggle to lose the excess 5 kilos and a long list of pending places to travel to. I think you get the drift. Basically my life was that of a regular 37 yrs old working mother in a nuclear family.

One day, on a regular business trip, I started experiencing difficulty in swallowing. Initially dismissed it as fatigue and stress but when the symptoms continued, I consulted a specialist. After extensive tests, including a biopsy I was diagnosed with Achalasia Cardia (Swallowing disorder).

I was hospitalized and treated for it, however during the routine discharge test the Doctors found some spots in my chest x-ray and as expected, multiple test were done again including a second biopsy. The verdict this time was Lymph node Tuberculosis. I was put on standard TB medication but when the body was found to be unable to tolerate ‘first line’ medication, the ‘second line’ was started. This included 60 injections along with oral medicines which made me puke my guts out. I was miserable. They said I was to continue this regime for 9 months so I started counting each day. This did not work either. After 7 months of the medication, injections, and countless tests and scans, my condition was continuing to deteriorate. I was losing weight and had developed a painful and incessant cough.  More tests followed including a third biopsy, bone marrow tests, PET SCAN and this time the diagnosis was the Big C. I was diagnosed with Cancer – HODGKIN’s ’LYMPHOMA Stage 4. So after 7 months, I was not only back to square one but also facing the toughest battle of my life so far - having to handle 3 diseases together (CANCER, ACHALASIA and TB).

I did not go into the ‘why me ‘mode.  Acceptance is the first step towards the healing process and then one has to channelize all the energies towards handling the situation at hand. I had to mentally make peace with my situation and I did so immediately.  It would be a lie to say I was not devastated when I got to know I had cancer. My first reaction was asking the doctor ‘Should I cry or do I stand a chance?’ And when he said “yes you do stand a chance”, I said “Well then let’s get started. You do your bit and I will do mine”.

10 months later, when I completed my chemo cycles and radiations, the tests showed that the response had been excellent. I was in complete Remission. What that really means is that I will be on a tight leash for the rest of my life -regular tests and scans will be a standard part of my life as far as the cancer treatment is concerned.  I still have the Achalasia Cardia which needs to be treated surgically. I have decided to live with it for the time being as I don’t want to undergo any surgery right now. I want the body to heal from the extensive

cancer treatment. I am really optimistic about the future and I count my blessing every day. its the Now that I live in