Friday, 7 June 2013

Cancer - It's Not an Irrecoverable Condition!

Updated 14th October 2014. Her cancer which we thought was cleared returned after a year. You can find out more in how do you say goodbye (post)

Cancer used to be a very scary and dreaded topic. In the past, if you hear someone has been diagnosed with cancer you feel terrible for them as though they have contracted an irrecoverable diseases. No one can be blamed to think so because there weren't many survivors in the past.

With the advancement of medical technology, mankind has conquered this disease.
Nowadays, if one has been diagnosed with cancer which attacks even the healthiest person, has nothing to fear if detected early.

I share with you a personal story.

My mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer in early 2012, at about the same time I was to deliver my third addition to our very own Charlie's Angels.
My husband was devastated with the news but he wouldn't admit it. I guess there is a stigma associated with cancer which strongly looms but the person diagnosed with it, was cool as a cucumber. She didn't worry at all, despite being told that she had 3rd stage breast cancer.

Her reason behind this is that she has seen so many of her friends who had experienced the same thing and triumphed in defeating the diseases.

She also attributed it to her luck in being able to get a very quick surgery.
Time is a very treacherous thing when you are diagnosed with such disease. When you have too much time on your hands, your thoughts will tend to wonder in dangerous territories, thinking of all the 'what ifs'.

However that wasn't the case for her because she managed to successfully have her mastectomy by March 2012. The major life changing part was over quick, not giving her much time to imagine how her body would feel with this sudden change. She agreed it was a good thing. In fact her recovery was quick too. She was up and walking hours after the surgery and couldn't wait to return home. She felt no pain and didn't need any pain killers throughout the 7 days recovery. She even managed to go for a short holiday to Burma on her 10th day after the surgery.

Things were a little different though, during her chemotherapy which lasted 8 months. She is very used to being on her feet and always moving about like a hard working ant looking for mess to tidy, food to salvage from the fridge before it goes rotten and so much more. So, when she first returned from her chemotherapy it was very hard on her to accept the 'no-energy' and lethargy. The inability to eat much also made her a little depressed and angry. She mostly survived on fruit juices and loads of protein.

It helped a lot that she had a good support system around her. Her friends took turns to drop by and say their hello's. Some of them even brought the food she wanted which varied a lot because chemotherapy left a very metallic taste and she became a picky eater, A family-friend doctor, whom we call mamaji (mother's brother) chipped-in by getting her physically ready for all her chemotherapy appointments. For every single need she had during her recovery stage, there was someone willing to assist.

She told me that being aware is very important because had she not known about her 'adopted' sister's battle with breast cancer, she wouldn't have done a self breast examination and discovered her lump.

Tomorrow 8th of June she will be celebrating her birthday by spending 2 weeks in Eastern Europe with her husband and some friends.
The kids and I have planned a surprise breakfast in bed for her.

 "Go ahead, share my story" she said when I asked if she was willing because you never know who might benefit from it.

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Thank you for stopping by at A cuppa for my thoughts

A health awareness program by Ms. Harnesh Kaur the reigning Miss Malaysia India (2013), Are you in the Pink of Health will be in town! Don't miss this opportunity to be part of it and get ready to be bombarded with very useful information not only for yourself but for your loved ones too. Be their beacon of hope by showing them you know everything there is to be known.

The event:

Link of those participating in this cause:

Some useful information:

  • Worldwide scene

View the map below to see how your country is impacted by breast cancer (pink being the highest per capita):
World Wide Breast Cancer Map
Source: American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Facts & Figures, 2005-2006.
  • Local scene
In Malaysia, reported by The Star: click here for the story



  1. Thank you for sharing her story, and I'm glad she's well, celebrating a birthday and travelling!

    1. Thank you Alison. 67th birthday in style :)

  2. I Sukhveer Kaur and my husband Daljit Singh are also survivors of cancer. Cancer has not only made our lives a rollercoaster but also an enriching journey to reach out and inspire others.
    We call it a beautiful experience, because you have gone through the high's and low's in life.
    In solidarity to all our fellow survivors around the world, you are all great survivors.Keep up the great fight and never give up.

    My friend Susan and all other fellow survivors are a testimony that cancer can be battled. Have a positive attitude in life and look at the beautiful things life has got to offer

    1. You are a rock Sukveer Kaur. I am awed at the things you are doing for other cancer patients. Keep up your good deeds.

  3. Thank you Sukhveer for sharing.
    If you are a cancer survivor or know someone, please share your trials and tribulations or just leave a short comment "I am a survivor!"

  4. Wonderful post Jasbir ;-) glad mom-in- law is better.
    My dad passed away 13 yrs ago whn he developed prostate cancer. Wherever he is, he is Deffinately at a btr place ;-)

    1. I am sorry to hear about your dad but I bet he IS in a better place.

  5. I AM A SURVIVOR!!!!! My fight against cancer has only made me stronger........never let it over-power you in any way....

  6. wow...very inspiring story & teach me to care more abt my loves one.

    1. After losing someone so dear to me, I too believe if you have something nice to say, say it now! You never know what tomorrow holds. If you feel like hugging someone, do it now! Am beginning to live in the.moment and not waste time pondering of all the what ifs life has to offer.