March 15th, 2016
Source: Humans of Bombay
“Since my childhood, I’ve been very active and creative. From drawing cartoons to playing basketball and running on every sports day…I was always an active participant. After my 10th board exams, I had a pain in my knees and at first we thought it was just a sprain because of the sports I played, but it started to swell and when we got the test results back– we realized it was bone cancer.
At first there were a lot of questions in my mind — ‘I’m only 15, I’ve always been healthy and active…why me?’ I couldn’t understand it, but instead of crying over it I decided to shift my focus and sketch. Through the year I had 3 surgeries and 9 chemo sessions but through all the pipes that were going through my body…I used to draw cartoons. Cartoons which made me smile and distracted me from what was going on. I did lose all of my hair and I had to learn how to walk all over again, because there are no bones in my right leg…its all metal! Physiotherapy was painful…I used to scream with pain but I knew that I had to walk again and it would get better. I had control over my mind at all times…there was no room for negativity.
To be honest, the only time I felt really sad was when I realized I would never be able to run again. I’ve always been a runner…whether marathons or school races, it’s been my biggest passion. Still, I got over that fact and moved on by accepting and making the most of my situation. I remember, there was another girl my age who also had bone cancer but had to get both her legs amputated because her family couldn’t afford metal implants and that’s when I realized I took what I had for granted — great parents, financial stability and so many dreams.
Cancer took away one part of my life, but there’s so much more it gave me. Every bad thing is redirecting you towards a good thing and that’s a fact of life…believe me, I’ve lived it! I decided to take up animation as a career because of my sketching and I have a great job today. I’ve made so many friends through this process and it has given me the courage to talk about my journey and tell others that cancer is not the end of the world. More than anything, it has changed my attitude towards life. My perpetual thought process is…’I’ve dealt with something so big, I can deal with anything.’
At 15, I was detected with bone marrow cancer and can never run again…so what? I can run in different ways…towards my goals, towards sharing my experience and living life the way it’s supposed to be lived — with happiness and lots of laughter!”