Zuvius: What were the circumstances that made you decide to go for a check-up?
Anita: It was something unusual, my eye used to reflect like a cat’s eyeball. The reflection was visible in golden colour. My parents were concerned and we consulted the doctor for an eye check-up.
Zuvius: What was your immediate response on learning you had Cancer?
Anita: I was young when I was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma (a rare malignant tumour of the retina, affecting young children). I had to undergo a lot of medical tests and meet doctors. It was unexpected and scary for me being a child and shocking for my family.
Zuvius: How did you decide which hospital/doctor to consult for further treatment? Did you think of taking a second opinion?
Anita: Being a kid, I didn’t have much of a say in these crucial matters. I hardly understood the medical terms. It was all decided by my parents and they did their research while selecting the doctor. My age being a driving force, we had taken second opinion as well just to make sure we were going in the right track. The decisions they took were apt and I am thankful to them for every drop of toil and sweat!
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Zuvius: Can you tell us what kind of Cancer you had, the stage and what was the procedure of treatment prescribed?
Anita: Retinoblastoma was the type of cancer I was diagnosed with. It is a rare malignant tumour of the retina, affecting young children. My right retina was affected and it had created impression on the left one too. It was inoculated and was followed by radiation therapy. The radiation therapy was frightening at first, but gradually I gathered courage to go through it and get better.
Zuvius: What did you learn about your friends and family during this difficult period of fighting the disease?
Anita: As they say, ‘Blood is thicker than water’, I believe in it too. In times of agony and disgrace, no one but family will be there for you, no matter what. My family means everything to me. They have not only supported me in times of physical and mental sorrows and exhaustion but helped me overcome and deal with my fears during the period of therapy.
Zuvius: What is the first thing you decided to do after you were declared ‘Cancer free’?
Anita: It was indeed joyful. I was happy to go to school again. I resumed my education after the complete cure. It was difficult at first and had to overcome a lot of hardships along the way but it was all worth it.
Zuvius: Did having Cancer change your perspective on life, people and things around you? What is the most important lesson that this ailment taught you?
Anita: I went through a lot during this struggle but I think I have gained a lot from it as well. It has taught me many things which helped me in developing my own personality. It moulded me into a strong and confident lady. Apart from this, it brought about many positives changes in me, most importantly I have become an independent person.
Zuvius: Did it affect the lives of people around you? If so, how?
Anita: My parents were shaken. They opted for all possible measures for my treatment. They were worried about my marriage too. Today, I feel blessed, I’m happily married to guy who is very understanding and takes utmost care of me.
Zuvius: What were your conceptions about the disease before and after the treatment?
Anita: Will power proves to be the most important thing in fighting any disease. If you have the vigour to combat, then nothing like it!
Zuvius: How important life is to you now that you’ve come out of this ordeal?
Anita: My life is dedicated to this cause as the same problem was faced by my daughter. She was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma just after her birth. Now she is cancer free and is an inspiration for me as well as the society. She has motivated me to work for this cause and will continue to do so.
Zuvius: What would be your advice to those who feel life is not worth living because of career setbacks, failed love affairs or financial burdens?
Anita: Cancer is a mental, physical and financial trauma that a patient undergoes during the several phases of treatment. One should be endowed with optimism and surrounded by supportive countrymen during the troughs and crests. Hope and patience are the fruits of a bitter tree but bear a sweet fruit in any walks of life.
Zuvius: If asked to say something to motivate Cancer victims, what would you say?
Anita: Cancer is a disease which can be cured with positivity, will power and courage. The Almighty chooses only those who have the courage to fight and we were one among them. In a nutshell, “Victory over cancer is equal to victory over malevolence!”Leave a reply