Thursday, March 24, 2016

From a stage 4 cancer fighter to a Dr! 

ALHAMDULILLAH. I made it till the end. It's been quite a journey for me to be honest. It has its fair share of ups and downs.

4 years ago when I was diagnosed, none of this looked possible. People kept on asking me ; are you sure you still want to go back to London and resume your study. Well I didn't blame them though. I was just in my second year that time,not even half way through. I didn't blame them for thinking it's not wise to be away from my family when I had huge C diagnosis with me. I said to myself back then, what do I do then? Do I just sit at home doing nothing? I decided to still try. My family supported that decision. As a muslim,we believed in the qadr of Allah and we believed in the life after death. We believed that prayers travelled any distance. We believed that Allah's with us. Yes I would be far away from my family but they had faith that Allah would take care of me.

So I came to London after a year of study break I took for my treatment. My doctor even said this to me(in a very gentle professional manner and full of concern), 'you know you might not finish medical school,are you sure you'd rather do this instead of being with your family?' I said yes with no doubt.I could sense that my doctor seemed to think I was in denial about the diagnosis and prognosis at first but slowly he became so supportive of me and my study. I remembered 6 months after I was started on my tablets, the same doctor looked at me with a very genuine smile and said this to me 'I am so happy to see that you are well. I am so so happy'

Fast forward 3 years later from the time I started studying again,4 years post diagnosis(again with its fair share of blood sweat and tears), I was told that I am now a Dr. How surreal is that? I am so grateful for my family and friends. Their never ending support and prayers pushed me through this. But my utmost gratitude is to Allah. He's been there since day one,well even before that but I was blinded by so many things. This whole experience made me realise about His existence. His help is so near, we just have to ask for it!

I always got the 'you are so strong' comment but trust me it's not always the case. There were times when things got difficult,when I cried in my sleep,when I felt so broken and I can't do it anymore. That's when I needed my family and friends the most. They're never too tired to remind me of the help of God.Recently, two of my family members were diagnosed with cancer on the same day just two weeks prior to my final exams. It felt like my world shattered for the second time (the first would be when I got diagnosed)and this time it's twice as difficult to deal with. I tried my best to stay focus and revise but of course it's not easy. My husband told me I have more reasons to pass this exams, at least that good news will make my family happy in this difficult time. I kept on telling myself that Allah has said He'd never tested a soul more than what it could bear so I would like to believe that we are strong and we can go through this together. As mom correctly said it, this is the test for the whole family not just for those two. If this brings us all closer to Allah then it's still a blessing despite how it looks on the outside. I love how Yasmin Mogahed puts it- Sometimes the gifts of God aren't wrapped as you think. My point is, you don't have to be strong at all times. You can break down and cry. Crying has always been my way of getting all the negative emotions out. However we need to learn how to pick ourselves up. My past experiences taught me that crying for far too long or worrying too much won't get me too far. I needed to actively encourage myself to take the steps to go back up when I fell.

We are all fighting different battles and I am writing this just to say to the people out there that you are not alone. Sometimes things get a little bit too much but inshaAllah there would be a way out. When it happens, think of it this way; you are at your worst now so thing can only get better as long as you do not give up! Looking back, half of me is so happy that I made it through and passed my exams and another half is just glad that I did not give up. It's possible for me not to make it till the end but I thought at least if I gave my all, I would feel happy knowing that I did not just succumb without a proper fight.

Thanks again to all my family members for your support. Thanks to my husband for putting up with my roller coaster emotions when I was stressed with revision and had to deal with the bad news. Thanks to all my close friends that keep on praying for me. Thanks to all my teachers too. Please continue to pray for me. I NEED THAT😊.Having been on the other side of the table I hope I have learned a few  things to be a good doctor to my patients inshaAllah.