"We need to start your chemotherapy right away. Further delay can cost you your life", the doctor said, but I pleaded with him to let me write my exams from the hospital. Seeing my hand swollen from the channel tube for chemotherapy, Ammi and Abbu begged me to let it go. But I just couldn't. I still wanted to fight.
This cancer is triggering unbearable pain in my body
"Every evening, her fever would keep rising and by night, I remember, my husband and I would start panicking. We used to try every single thing - from medicines to a wet cloth - to get her fever to normalise, but nothing was working. I don't remember a night where my daughter could sleep peacefully without sedatives" - Umme Salma, mother
I wish I had not ignored my bone aches and recurring urinary bladder infections at its onset, because now this cancer is triggering unbearable pains. I had to undergo 7 chemotherapy cycles in the past year, but my reports were still not improving. "The only way her leukemia can come under control now is with a bone marrow transplant at the earliest. But that would cost a lot", the doctor informed us.
My mother sold the only bangles she owned for my treatmentJust when I was reeling under the pain of cancer, I was devastated seeing a huge chunk of our life savings go away in my treatment. I have silently seen ornaments vanish from my mother's hands, but still she never complained. I could see tears in their eyes, but still all they assured me with a smile was, "Tumi tara tari bhalo hoye jaabo, putul" (you'll get well very soon, my doll).
She made a Facebook page to sell hand-made jewellery, from her hospital bed"If you had a son it would make sense to spend money on treatment, but why would you waste lakhs of rupees for a daughter", that's what people tell Baba whenever he begs them for help. From Rs.100 to Rs.1000, he has been pooling in all the money he had, in the hopes of gathering INR 50 lakhs for my transplant. But at the end of the day, all of that is just enough to meet my medicine costs.
I have always wanted to rid my Baba of all his debts, but today I'm the reason why he is debt-ridden. I was unable to see him in this helpless condition, so I decided to sell handcrafted jewellery through a Facebook page to save funds for my surgery. I would make them from the hospital, until my condition worsened due to COVID and I had to be shifted to an isolation ward. My page had to be shut down and I was crushed that I lost the only chance of funding my treatment.
Being a commerce student, in my head, I have always aspired to be called a 'businesswoman' and saw myself run a restaurant, until cancer happened. Cancer may have ravaged my body but I pray it doesn't dim my hopes, because that's all I have left now. But if I can't arrange INR 50 lakhs for my transplant within the next few days, I may not have much time left.
I pray Allah saves my life through all of you. Please click here to help me fight cancer.