Rubina Saeed Malik
Life doesn’t always remain the same and I guess this is what makes it so beautiful. Seventeen years ago while living in Geneva I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (a kind of cancer). I underwent treatment there and recovered successfully and was living a normal and happy life with my family only to find out 16 years later that I once again had cancer, this time it was breast cancer.
I had never imagined that such a coincidence could happen with me. I still remember the day I visited Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre for my annual checkup. Keeping in view my history, age and the high incidence of breast cancer in Pakistani women, I was asked to undergo a mammography. I felt uncomfortable at the thought of going through any diagnostic test that could be suggestive of cancer but then I thought I had been through the worst and it was just a routine test. But I didn’t know that this test and day would change my entire life. I was once again diagnosed with cancer. We were completely shattered. It just didn’t seem fair. I was just having a normal checkup and not mentally prepared to be diagnosed with cancer once again. It just couldn’t be true we thought and had the diagnosis reconfirmed from other laboratories in search for the result we wanted to see. But whether we were prepared to face it or not, it had happened and I had no choice but to face the ordeal once again. With the support of my family and friends I prepared myself for the battle. I had faith that if He put me to it He will definitely take me through it too.
I underwent surgery and then chemotherapy. Undergoing chemotherapy was perhaps the most difficult part of the treatment. I was well aware of the side effects but the first experience was really difficult but gradually things became better as my body adapted to the medications.
I was well aware and satisfied with the modern methods of treatment I had as a part of my cancer treatment at SKMCH&RC. However what truly fascinated me the most was the behavior and attitude of the staff working there. I believe that some of the people working there are not human but truly angels in disguise who work dedicatedly for the welfare of patients.
My long and tiring treatment ended in August 2009 and now I am leading a normal life. I could not have gone through it once again without the help of God, a positive frame of mind, the prayers of my family and friends, and the support from Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital. Having to face cancer twice in my life was indeed very difficult and a life changing experience. But it has taught me to cherish every moment of my life and I feel I am a much better person now.
Rubina Saeed Chaudhry