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As far as I knew cancer meant death but…

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My name is Komal (name changed). I am an NO (nursing orderly) working in a government dispensary under Delhi Govt. I stay in the Government quarters and have been on my job since 14 years. My husband works as a driver on a contract basis and I have three children. 

Other than occasional irritation due to migraine and some minor gynecological problem I was physically fit. So when they held a gynecological health camp here in our Dispensary I decided to get myself checked just out of curiosity , which showed a high grade infection in a pap smear. I was advised by my friends to get a recheck in Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, the referral hospital of our dispensary and again it showed a  high grade infection. But as it was not resolving even after treatment, I again went for a pap smear. This time I was diagnosed with early cancer. I was shocked. Never in my life had I expected that I will be diagnosed with cancer – carcinoma in situ of cervix  (mouth of the uterus or womb). I was shocked and very frightened . The first thoughts were of my children… What was going to be of them. As far as I knew cancer meant only death… but The doctors and other staff of my dispensary were very supporting. They counseled me and supported me in every manner possible and advised me to report in a specialized hospital. After a little bit of thought I chose St Stephen’s hospital, as I heard it to be a good one and also because it was in the panel of Delhi Govt Health Scheme treating hospitals. It was January 2003 when I was diagnosed. I did not waste time and immediately consulted St Stephens Hospital. They did not waste time either and started investigations. Thankfully. It was at an early stage and had not spread. . They assured me that a cone biopsy will help me. So on April 2003, I underwent the procedure. I had decided early on that I was not going to waste time on deliberation as from my little knowledge I knew that cancer can be cured if treated early and be fatal if it is delayed. It was not a major surgery as such, but as there were risk of complications, I remained admitted in hospital for 9 days. The surgery went without any complications. The recovery was fast. I had to take a total of twenty days leave only. I was advised regular check up every three months for the first year and then six monthly from then onwards… but my problems did not end there, I conceived two years later and as my family was complete,  I wanted to terminate the pregnancy, but that was risky as per the doctors and so was continuing the pregnancy. The weeks that followed were one of my most difficult. I was in a dilemma on what to do. If I went for a termination then there was a chance that I might bleed profusely but if I continued the pregnancy then there was this complication that it may end prematurely causing more problems. I finally attended Safdarjung hospital where the pregnancy was terminated uneventfully… Now I am all hale and hearty by the grace of God. I still go for periodic checkups… and try not to neglect small physical complain because it was timely detection and early intervention which helped me.

- A real survivor story as told to Mani padma

Compilers note: I hope the above narration was of help to you all readers. I would like to provide some additional information for your aid on the above issue. First of all the cancer cervix is the biggest killer cancer among females in India. But if detected early it can be cured. What Komal was suffering from was CIN of the cervix. A precancerous condition but still which could have developed into cancer if remained undetected. I am inserting you a link which sheds light on the above topic in a very easy non medical language http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life/health-fitness/health/All-about-Indias-commonest-cancer-Cervical-Cancer/articleshow/3399745.cms  

Please go through the website of the Indian Cancer Society – which provides a complete aid about treatment centers , support, counseling and necessary references regarding cancer treatment and rehabilitation… They also have a scheme called cancer risk insurance which I think is a very novel one in today’s time. http://www.indiancancersociety.org/

If any one of you have inspiring stories of yourself which can inspire and help many, kindly share with us in survivors series.

0 25 February, 2010 Survivors February 25, 2010

About the author

She is a Doctor by profession , working in Delhi. Loves traveling, mind games and playing with words… And also the chief-co brewer of GingerChai. She is the chief brewer of some of the interesting categories you see in GingerChai. Follow @manishalsam

View all articles by Mani Padma

8 comments

  1. Shilpa Garg

    A survivor indeed!
    Now a vaccine against certain types of cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV)is available too.
    It is designed to prevent infection from HPV types 16 and 18, which currently cause about 70% of cervical cancer cases. And this can be used for women in the age group teenage-45 years!

    Reply
  2. Gyanban

    It amazes me how people sustain their motivation over a period of time.Especially more so because the system around you is designed to discourage you in some way or the other.

    Reply
  3. samvedna

    As shilpa has mentioned, I also saw a board the other day at doctor’s clinic that now they have a prevention vaccination for cerix cancer..I hope that women take the benefit of this.

    Reply
  4. mani

    My hearty thanks to all of you. Yes there are vaccines but even after vaccination, its still important to go for periodic checkups.

    Reply

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