Saba, my three year old daughter, was lying on my lap, listening to a story. It was her bedtime. It was then that I noticed that something was wrong with her. When she turned away from the light, I saw a glassy reflection across her eye. All I knew was that I had to get my daughter to a doctor as soon as possible to find out what it was.
The minute I heard the word ‘cancer’ come out of the doctor’s mouth, I felt as if the world had stopped and while the doctor was still talking to me, I was not listening. I immediately started to think of how my husband and I were going to afford the expensive treatment because I was a housewife and my husband earned a minimal salary as an electrician. So, we brought Saba to Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre and thankfully, we were able to get full financial support to cure our little girl.
Saba’s oncologist was Dr. Alia Zaidi, who planned to reduce the tumour behind Saba’s eye using chemotherapy and then to use surgery to remove the eye. Unfortunately, Dr. Zaidi also told us that Saba will only see through one eye. This did not get us down because saving our daughter was our first priority. Saba’s eye was removed safely and she was given an artificial eye. Fortunately, Saba has been cancer-free since then.
Today, Saba is nearly 7 years old. At home, she loves playing with her sisters and dolls. She goes to school and is one of the top students in her class. She tells me that she wants to be a doctor when she grows up.