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HealthLife

Lessons Learned from the ‘Big C’: My Journey with Cancer

Sometimes people say things happen to you only to strengthen your faith or perhaps to take you out of your comfort zone but mine was a wake-up call. Having to face a near-death situation and coming out of it was a real shocker and eye-opener for me.

Hello readers, the cancer journey is indeed a tough one. I started off writing articles about myself but my focus soon changed to one of reflection. People often ask how do you recover from such a catastrophic event? Truth be told, you don’t.

I tried for a very long time to seek help through patience and prayer but over time, it got easier. Stretching your limits to try to see past your cancer diagnosis may be described as farfetched to some, especially when your thoughts are mostly negative but you speak good things into being, like the truth. 

Having been through surgery, chemo, and radiation, you learn to always be grateful for the little things in life. A smile, a recovery card, a phone call, or a simple “just checking on you” message brightens your entire day. I still find myself crying for no particular reason, it may be post-traumatic stress but I have revised my outlook to consider every problem as an opportunity to move forward in life. 

I think my writing skills are improving. I must now learn to socialize in a different circle set with awesome survivors and lifelong friends. Honestly, with family and friends, you win some and you lose some even if it means avoiding idle talk and gossip. It only makes you a better person in the long run. Sometimes you wonder how people can possibly understand what you are going through but I have learned to seek advice from others. Not all the suggestions will work but at least you made a conscious effort to secure your most prized possession, your health!

All my life, I tried to be kind and promote advocacy but where is the justice when something bad happens to you? Over time you learn to live with the Big “C”, hoping that one day it may be just a memory but the emotional scars may never leave you. I have learned to avoid anger and be positive – mind you, this is easier said than done. Whilst your body is being battered with treatment, your mind needs to be clear to counteract all the side effects of the drugs. 

But how do you do that with all that is happening in real-time? Well, my friends, you focus on yourself and be productive. You are now faced with this great battle to which you will be victorious. Why? Because everything happens for a reason. There is motivational Monday to kick start the week, there is happy hour on Friday to celebrate the weekend and there is a little something called Faith which I know you have kept throughout the Big “C” ordeal.

Hope and Faith became my new watchwords in life as I move forward not knowing what next to expect but simply enjoying life’s greatest joys. Simple words are indeed a powerful tool to create miracles and steer belief into others. 

I am a recent revert yes, I converted to Islam after my ordeal. This was a personal choice as I struggled to grip with my ongoing emotions. I have learned through religion to be patient and that all things are temporary in this life. I still maintain all my charity work, as I have done in the past but I feel like a completely new person being reborn. I practiced fasting during Ramadhan for the first time, boy it was tough at the beginning, but I survived, yey!

Sometimes people say things happen to you only to strengthen your faith or perhaps to take you out of your comfort zone but mine was a wake-up call. Having to face a near-death situation and coming out of it was a real shocker and eye-opener for me.

As we close off the holy month of Ramadhan, I have used this month to recover and reflect on the past as I attempt to close off that chapter in my life and hopefully begin a new one soon. No one knows what the future would be like but we can all try to remain positive in the hope that we may all live to see another Ramadhan 2022. Ameen!

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