Story of a True Fighter


Sarla sits a lot- at different locations in her own house. She keeps sitting and noticing everyone walk by, listening to every chirrup of the birds outside, feeling every wind that comes in through the metallic grills of the tinted brown window, seeing the clouds come into the sky in the morning and then leave in the evening like a wave leaving the shore after it has touched each grain of sand. She likes attending to every guest that enters the house, sitting there and just cheering everyone up and smiling.

A patient of breast cancer, Sarla’s birth certificate must be the only place where her age is 65. She is a lively person who is anything but sad. Her smile is innocent like a little child. In 2014, she got diagnosed with cancer. Her family was always supportive of her; they never let her pain increase more than it already was. She lives with her sister’s family and her own son. Even after various treatments and therapies, cancer continued to spread with numerous symptoms. Her brain and back were among the areas affected by cancer. Sarla’s memory also deteriorated and her ability to calculate and function properly also changed.

When the CanSupport team met Sarla for the first time, she was a little apprehensive and tensed because of her not being very well versed with the concept of palliative care. But as the visits progressed, she soon started to look forward to the day the team would visit her. She would talk about her life, how her husband’s death was a milestone in her life and how she wanted her son to settle down and bring a wife home. Her initial stages made it very difficult for her to eat or drink, but the care given by her sister proved to be magical. She started treating the team as her own family and the doctors as her own daughters.

The smile that Sarla might have had before her diagnosis seemed to have made its way back to her face. She started talking openly about everything again. But even after chemotherapy for several years, she wasn’t getting any better. Doctors from the CanSupport team, after looking at and analysing the case, advised Sarla’s son to not go forward with it.

Sarla has now transformed into another person, a rather unrecognizable one. One could see that she has changed, or it could also be said that she just got her old self back. Sarla had always been the cake, she just needed her cherry on top. She is happy and hopeful, but is not living in denial. She is fully aware of her illness, current situation and the prognosis. Her family’s support has provided a direction to all her courage. Sarla is a fighter in the truest sense and has learned to live and make the most of the present irrespective of the situation.

She has accepted the finality.