Cancer fighter, not patient!

Tuesday, February 4
World Cancer Day 2014

A dying cancer patient is the most common thing to watch in movies, dramas in Bangladesh. In music videos too. In those it’s shown as a romantic sentiment! No, nothing is wrong there. It’s very common that cancer patients die. But not everybody dies soon. Some may fight and live for 
years. Some may get cured. It’s very important to become fighters not patients. Positive thinking can give more time. May it be months, or years? Nobody knows when and how death will come. A cancer patient may die for totally other reason. So it is better be fighters, not patients. Being a patient, someone may very easily become depressed, which may bring more misery to themselves and close ones. It’s not only cancer fighters, but people around should also be aware of it. They need to change their mentality. Media, literature may play a positive role. Life means fighting. Cancer is a huge fight. Now is the time to show cancer patient as a fighter.

If I became a cancer patient in 2006 instead of a fighter, would I be able to write like this?Or would I be able to help to create many memories of a six and half years old child? Or could I be able to do things which I like/liked? The fight didn’t stop. So I keep fighting while time to time listening the knock on the door! Now I am waiting to see the fourteenth birthday of that six and a half!

Why do I talk?

November 28, 2013

Opened a Facebook account in 2009 after got a request from one of my very good friend. If I posted a status or upload a picture my very busy friends could get an update about me, which was the main reason! Gradually all of my childhood friends (I have regular connection with some of them, with some I didn’t), friends younger and older of the university campus where I was born and raised, engineering student life friends, relatives, people I know over the years living in three to four states and gradually unknown persons who sent me requests because of my writings and activism are being added! But I don’t accept everybody’s request. I do some background checking.

At the beginning I used to make comments to my friend’s status and wrote a few lines as my status if I wanted to. From the fall of 2009 to spring of 2010, wrote very few. I was taking some classes. My background is hardware and I was taking classes on software. Wanted to see what was in it! Past three years on being diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma on my left leg. Had the surgery and full dosage of radiation therapy. Was thinking of taking some classes and gradually get a job. The chances of getting cancer back is more in the first two years. I was told that my condition would be monitored for the next ten years. After one year very tiny one or two spots were found on my lungs in the CT ­Scan. But they were so tiny nothing could be told. I used to have regular CT­ Scan to monitor those. Also had regular MRI on my leg.

I took three classes in three semesters and got A in all. The only reason I am telling this is that my background is hardware and I knew nothing about software and I was forty plus with physical challenge (I had severe pain on my leg till just couple of years back), if I could do it anybody can do it. If someone wants he/she can study anything at any age.

In the summer of 2010 the CT scan showed that spots grew a little and they are more in numbers. I got the message! I stopped taking classes. Talked to the surgeon. If those spots grow once again, I had to go through surgery. Those were so tiny that if I had surgery then there was a possibility of damaging my lungs rather than taking those out properly. At that time I got regularly on writing on Facebook. Now these days people here are talking about cancer openly.

But not everybody. There is a chance of losing job if talk about it at work place! There is a chance of not getting hired in places! Yes people may be discriminated because of cancer in many places in this country too! And in Bangladesh people don’t talk about it! If someone gets it most of the people say “goodbye” without saying it! Does anyone use the word “cancer fighter”? Even though if caught early, timely it could be defeated by treatment in some types. And a fighter can live years by fighting it in many types. Why someone has to live those years like a dead person? Why not live like a living being?

Started talking about my own fight on Facebook. In personal life I started talking about it from the beginning of my fight. Only reason was it to make awareness of cancer, cancer fighters and their families (they are fighters too). There is no other reason to bring my personal fight to public. If at least one person benefits from it anyhow!

Cancer fighter doesn’t get a life full of roses because (s)he has cancer! Life itself means fighting. Different people have different ones. I have fought with Hepatitis B too. Fight with new fibroid tumor came back with severe pain. I grew up with this severe pain through my whole educational life. After I finished my bachelors in engineering I had the surgery. Now surgery for this again is not for me. How many major surgeries can someone have in a year?! I started writing about my cancer fight but didn’t leave other issues. What I wrote is a diary. Nothing more than that nothing less than that. I said so many things, shared personal thoughts and feelings with the thought that if the diary of a simple human being like me helps someone in any way! While writing I might have said many unpleasant things, because I write my feelings. If I would have thinking about writing only pleasant things, popular things it wouldn’t be a diary! And my characteristics are not to please someone by lying. I strongly believe in these lines.

Woke up
on the shores of Rupnarayan,
Came to know this world
is not a dream.
Saw thyself
in bloody letters,
Recognized thyself
in traumas and traumas
sorrows and sorrows;
Truth is hard,
Loved the hard,
It never betrays.
Life is the meditation of sorrows till death,

To get the amazing value of truth,
To repay all debt to death.
(At the shore of Rupnarayan, Rabindranath Tagore)

Don’t know when can I be able to go Bangladesh again, don’t know if ever be able to. Never thought about that the poem I love so much since very early age would become so true! Each time I recite, each word makes me cry.

I will be reborn in Bangla someday, on the shores of the Dhansinri
Not as a human perhaps, but as a seagull, or a sturnidae,
or a crow of dawn, in this land of fall and harvesting feast
someday, I will descend, rest, in the shade of a jackfruit tree, all swathed in mist.
Or return, a timeless duck, floating idly in a pond, pungent with water spinach
anklet charms adorned by a girl, on my ruddy feet.
I will arrive with my love for the rivers, the pastures and fields
I will return to this green, dusky soil, wet with the foams of Jolangi.
You may behold a vulture in the twilight breeze, or perhaps,
a shrieking barn owl on a silk cotton tree.
You may glimpse a child drying husky rice on a courtyard full of grass.
A youth paddling his dinghy on grimy waves of the Rupsha with a ripped, white sail;
Or a silver egret eying scarlet clouds as they swim back home in the dark;
here is the place you will discover me.
Poet: Jibananda Das
Poem: Abar asibo phire
Translation: Anandamayee Majumdar