“I thought they were just muscle cramps, until I saw my arm swell. I wondered if I fractured it unknowingly. I had not. The pain got so bad that I had to tell my parents. Then came the fever, and finally came the diagnosis. My life is not the same since I met cancer.”
My name is Pooja. I’m 18. I was going to finish 12th grade this year. I was so happy about stepping out of school and making it to college. It is a special time in everyone’s life, isn’t it? I am a district level athlete. When my arm began aching, I assumed it was just muscle pain from exhaustion. I never imagined I’d be here in the hospital, missing my own graduation, having surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, and losing the will to live because of cancer.
Pain, cancer and then dengue
I got terrified when my arm began to swell up. The pain was excruciating and it came with a high temperature. When I told my parents, they took me to every doctor they could find. I was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma – bone cancer. I needed chemotherapy and then a surgery.
It has been so painful these past few months. They had to insert a metal plate in my arm. The recovery was so tough. I thought it was the worst time ever. Just within a few weeks, the fever came back. This was different. This was dengue.
I lost everything I had in such a short time
I was in the ICU at CMC for 10 days. Right now, I’m not even able to walk. I have been discharged to recover at home. My parents have rented a place near the hospital, but it does not feel like home. Time and again I feel so lonely. These days I do not even feel like talking to anyone. My friends have all moved on, and here I am not sure if I will make it, if cancer will go away.
I still need 33 sessions of radiation to be free of bone cancer. I hated chemotherapy. It made me vomit, took all my hair and my strength. I could run like the wind. Now, my father needs to hold me to help me walk. I feel like a shattered piece of glass.
When I lost hope, my father’s faith kept me alive
My father, works as a Hawaldar in the Orissa Special Army Police Force. He makes Rs. 20,000 per month. With that, he makes sure that my younger brother and I get the best education. We are comfortable at home – not rich, but content. My medical bills have crossed Rs. 22 Lakhs and my father has handled all the expenses.
Please help me live the rest of my life
I may not be great at mathematics, but I estimate that it would have taken about 10 years for my father to earn that much money. He should have saved every rupee of that income to pay for my treatment.
With our expenses and considering that he has not always earned so much, I know it was impossible for him to do it all alone. I understand that he has nowhere else to go, and my parents are now begging everyone to save me. He is still trying to fund Rs. 10 lakhs for the radiation.
My father has gone to the moon and back to save my life. I had lost hope, but his love is giving me the will to live. Would you please help me make it?
The specifics of this case have been verified by the medical team at the concerned hospital. For any clarification on the treatment or associated costs, contact the campaign organizer or the medical team.