Previous Part – The Diagnosis
In part 1 of the story, Mrs. Sudha Srinivasan a survivor herself narrates about her Diagnosis of Lymphoma cancer and how this life-shattering incident affected her along with the family. If you missed out reading the start of this story please follow the link above for reading this Survivor’s inspirational story.
The State Of Mind
From the time the doctor pronounced the “C” word after my diagnosis -” Lymphoma Cancer” it was, I didn’t hear much of what he was saying. Somehow, I had to gather my strength and knock myself back to my senses. Once the doctor told about the treatment my fear was at ease. The Doctor suggested that I need to go through 6 chemos, each with a gap of 21 days with the first chemo to start immediately. He ruled out the need for any immediate surgery which was some relief.
When we hear the three earth-shattering words “You have Cancer “our world turns upside down. That moment and those words are the dividing line between life before cancer and life after cancer. Lymphoma Cancer– the dreaded “C” word is almost always equated with death and that makes this disease most scary. The very name of Cancer pushes the entire family into a state of gloom and mourning.
Despite the ground-breaking medical advancements available in cancer treatment, it still remains a scary disease disturbing us emotionally, because it is still so commonly associated with a lot of suffering, and the possibility of death. So many questions start to crop up in your mind as to what kind of cancer do I have? How much has it spread? Is treatment possible? What is the chance that my cancer can be cured? Etc.
For the next few days, we were in a state of shock, not knowing what to do, how to react after diagnosis. Perhaps my husband was more hit than me. It was more of disbelief than a shock. With my health record and my lifestyle, I should have been the last candidate to be diagnosed with this disease. I had shown no symptoms at all. It was absolutely asymptomatic cancer. So it was truly difficult for us to accept this dreaded reality. All through this it was my son who remained calm and positive and gave me the much-needed strength & confidence. He was a pillar of strength and took the whole thing philosophically and with a lot of positivity.
When my colleagues got to know of this, there was utter disbelief in their minds. Many did not know how to react or what to say. Some went in a state of shock unable to say anything, some broke down. Soon I realized I need to accept and come to terms with the fact and have to move forward with strength. Realizing that being in a depressed stage or being in self-pity will not take me anywhere. I could not control the disease but had the choice to control my reactions. Also, I had the choice to impact my thought process.
So, I decided to fight Cancer with grace, dignity and a positive attitude. We all know at the same level that life is finite. But somehow we never think of it as frequently or as concretely as after the diagnosis of cancer. I recognized mortality in a way I had never done before. More than wondering if I would survive the disease and the treatment, I was worried if I would be the same person as before, would there be any permanent threat to my way of life, would there be any permanent damages, etc.
To keep the things moving in the right direction, we immediately appointed a yoga teacher to come home every day. I knew yoga and had been practicing on and off. But to be regular and focused, I knew I needed someone to come home and make me do it every day. So the practice of doing yoga and meditation started immediately.
Next: The Treatment