December 28, 2018
Anni Sharma, Cancer Survivor
I am Anni. I always had the perfect life. I fell in love in October 2006 when we both were in college. We were mature enough to wait until we got settled in our careers. Eventually we tied the knot on February 2013. Like any young couple in love, we had dreams, desire to be together, plan festivals, decorate our home and live our lives stress free. From enjoying roadside pani-puri to exotic candle dinners together, everything was at our finger tips. My life felt complete.
The Unwanted Surprise
As a newly married bride, I had a lot of expectations in life. Never in my wildest dream did I think that I would be dealing with ‘Cancer’. I wish I was prepared for it.
Just months ago, I entered into wedlock with a person for whom I waited for 7 years. How can I expect to hear the words “you have breast cancer” within seven months into my marriage knowing that I was a fit young woman at 27!
I kept thinking whether this could be the one thing that was going to snatch everything from the life.
We had dreams in our hearts; little did we know that we had to fight cancer. Our relationship had survived the up and downs of life, but I kept asking whether it was strong enough to face cancer? Back then when I heard the words I was not even sure of what to do but today I know that true love can fight cancer too.
Our commitment, respect and love for each other had helped us walk hand in hand through all the ups and downs of our life.
Breaking Walls of Denial and Preparing For Fight
Though the words rang clear in our ears, it was difficult for us to accept it. I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductile Carcinoma. Once the truth pierced through our walls of denial, we wanted a solution as soon as possible.
Honestly, finding love was easier to me than finding the right doctor. Getting treated for cancer was never easy because it always took a toll on your body.
I was young and had a whole life to live for. I had no choice but to survive without compromising on my femininity or quality of life.
As we hunted for the right hospital and right doctor, there was a lot chaos and confusion. I even backed off from a doctor after paying for my surgery. It was ridiculous that some doctors were taking away all the hope and courage that we had gathered with lot of difficulty. Through the help of our doctor, we held our hands to support each and fight it out.
Honestly, it was as much a tough fight for Kunal as it was for me. He stood strongly and was always there for me. He made my fight for survival not only easier but also worth it. I can’t tell you how much of a difference a positive attitude can make towards the cancer experience.
Was It the Right Time?
May be things happen for a reason in our lives and may be they are timed that way as well.
Sometimes I feel that the main reason for me to fight cancer was the promise of a joint future with Kunal.
I underwent lumpectomy, six cycles of chemotherapy and radiation therapy for over a month. It was a lengthy and traumatic experience and I was lucky to have the support from Kunal, my doctor, family and friends.
Experiencing Completeness of Love
I had known love before but the experience with cancer showed me another face of love which I had not seen before. Kunal is what true love means to me. He was there holding me tight while I was crying. He was there holding my hand when I was about to enter surgery. He was there standing with his eyes moist when I first woke up after surgery because the only name I uttered when I was unconscious was “KUNAL”. He was there for entire 8 hours of my each chemo session holding me tight. He was there to kiss my bald head each day and make me feel like a child. He was there to bring me a ‘Proud of you’ card when I first went out without my bandana or head gear. He was there with me always as my strength to fight. This was a love very different from what I had experienced before. I feel I have seen love between two soul mates in its perfect complete form.
Choosing To Live Life over Surviving Cancer
When I was first diagnosed, Kunal told me, “it’s just a phase …It will pass soon. We are not going to cry on this. We are together in this and will come out of it as winners”. It’s been more than 3 years since I have completed my treatment and I have a firm belief of remaining cancer free for life.
Life has taught us to live in the moment and not to wait for the right time as it may never come. One should always cherish the moments spent with their loved ones. Life is uncertain and if you have your beloved one with you, everything becomes easier. Today each day we celebrate our moments of togetherness and will continue to do so with full gusto.