It came like a strike of lightning, cancer, and it set off years of fighting for Anju. It changed everything in a single moment.
Before that moment, Anju was a 32-year-old living in Delhi along with her family. Mother to a son and two daughters, her children were her entire universe. Her entire world revolved around them and she was prepared to conquer anything for their sake. And so she did.
From that moment onwards breast cancer was a part of her identity. The worst of her fears had become reality. She’d been fearless all her life but everything seemed to have fallen apart. Unaware of how to react and how to move forward, the family had to move to Bengaluru. Their lives were changing at a pace faster than they could keep up with.
When Anju started going to the doctor, she was unfamiliar with what her illness meant, how it would be treated, its curability and what its symptoms were. She was prescribed a lot of medications but what bothered her the most was the pain and the weakness that came along with the treatment. She was exhausted by the long commute to the hospital and the long queues for medicines. So much so that she preferred paying a higher price for them in order to avoid the long queue.
For her husband, a factory worker, the battle with cancer was his to share. He had to work day and night to be able to afford treatment and to pay for his children’s education simultaneously. It worried Anju, the difficulty her children and her husband were facing due to her cancer. She felt as if it was her fault. She resented not being able to send her children to school every morning and to support her husband.
Over the course of her treatment, Anju started to feel alone. She had no one to talk to, no one to vent out to and no one who would understand what she was enduring. Ever since the family had moved back to Delhi, they had been among themselves and didn’t interact much with anyone else. Neither Anju nor her family had anyone they could seek for comfort or advice.
But now long after the lightning strike came a ray of sunshine for Anju. The CanSupport team met her and helped relieve her from her emotional distress. They helped impart a proper understanding of her disease to her, so she knew how it could impact her future and the help that was available. For the first time, in a long time she knew how things could progress, and good or bad, she preferred knowing. Even when her cancer spread to her lungs and started troubling her, she never even thought of giving up. She knows now what she can do for herself and she does everything in her capacity, to make sure she survives it.
Today, Anju has accepted her illness and she is prepared to fight it no matter how hard it gets. She is aware that her identity is more than just her illness and she is capable of living a life beyond it. Anju is prepared to conquer her cancer because it cannot destroy her will to live. At the same time, she’s realistic and knows that things can go wrong. Anju’s changed attitude towards her illness and treatment have made her a stronger person. The CanSupport team has become family to her, she says, they make her feel at home. She has found her own solace in all the chaos. Anju, today is a mother and a wife but most importantly a fighter.