One in a Million
I’m an extraordinary 24 year old, scientifically.
On a scale of one to ten, my enthusiasm would topple over Ranveer Singh’s.
I’m by far the most approachable human being I know, and I say all this not in vanity but in a certain spree of self-awareness that a rare cancer diagnosis at an early age bestowed upon me.
I’m a Delhi girl who passed out of The Shri Ram School- Aravali only to land up at Shaheed Bhagat Singh College- University of Delhi to pursue a degree in B.com (Hons), not long ago.
Currently, I live in Gurgaon and work for Google. You didn’t misread that, I do work for Google.
But, that still isn’t what makes me one in a million.
Towards the end of February 2016, I fell ill with unbearable lower abdomen pain. Few tests and a laparoscopic biopsy indicated that I had something critical to deal with.
It was on the 8th of that ghastly March that I was diagnosed with stage 3 metastatic ovarian cancer, only a few months short of my 23rd birthday.
I was immediately rushed to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, USA.
According to the statistics, Ovarian Cancer is diagnosed in 2,50,000 patients every year and causes deaths in almost 60 percent of the patients. The average age for Ovarian Cancer is 55–64. Only 3.8% of the women affected with this cancer are within the age group of 20 to 34. Mathematically, that is only 9500 women in the world. Needless to say, it was a rare case and I turned out to be one in a million.
I’ve always been a relatively health conscious and a fit young girl, which is why this news came in as a shock that just wouldn’t sink in.
I was advised numerous sessions of chemotherapy followed by a surgery to remove my orange sized tumors, followed by some more sessions of chemotherapy.
Having no prior exposure to or knowledge about something so far-reaching made me fear the big ‘C’ even more.
Before I could even comprehend the gravity of the situation, the therapy began.
I had to take a road less travelled by, because that was my only option.
It made me a strong-willed person, taught me gratitude, perseverance and the essence and importance of life.
I wanted to make it easier for my parents to deal with the news by being their source of strength even when I was at my weakest. I wanted the freedom to be out at odd hours, so much so that I could make sure that I don’t lose myself in this utterly exhaustive process.
I’m an inherently happy person, you see.
The kind of person who smiles across to you from afar, a genuine smile.
I wanted to preserve that.
I would be lying if I said there were no bad days, there were plenty.
But, I’d cry it out, take my painkillers, ride my scooty, binge on amazing American cuisine and tour across the USA, after.
My journey continues to teach me something daily through small incidents and that is what I wish to write about and share to the world.
I encountered the nicest people and this is my way of trying to acknowledge and reinforce people’s faith in humanity.
This day, the 27th of September, I commemorate being cancer free and hence I decided to begin telling you my story from today onwards.