“I was diagnosed with Astrocytoma, a brain cancer in my final years. Balancing my studies with frequent hospital visits was tough. I suffered constant episodes of seizures & intense pain, hampering my studies. They found a tissue growing in my brain that had to be treated for 3 years before I could undergo surgery. The tissue grew bigger, & I had seizure attacks every week, even when I was walking. I’d lose all sense of self each time, & it was difficult to regain my composure. My family couldn’t accompany me to T/phu and I was mostly alone on my way to hospital for my radiotherapy. At times, I was so sick on my way back and almost fainted once on the stairs. I started losing my hair and people gave me second look.
I beseeched the hospital staff to go ahead with my surgery. I was finally sent to Calcutta with the govt’s help. After chemo, I lost all my hair. During the surgery, they opened up my skull across the front.

I was a happy-go-lucky child. I never imagined I’d go through immense emotional & physical trauma. Anxiety & depression were constant, & hearing the low survival rate made me feel worse. Never google unnecessarily about your illnesses. After months of sleepless nights & heavy medications, things started getting better. Today I only go for a review every 6 months. The last time I went, they said I was doing better than ever.

Encouragement from loved ones, esp my husband, got me through those tough times. My friend was my rock. She complimented me on my looks even when my body was deteriorating. Many of my friends wanted to shave their heads because they said I looked good.

I’m not scared of death anymore. I’ve definitely seen worse and overcome some of the toughest challenges. Death seems like a fraction of that difficulty. After a year of treatment and almost losing my life, I’m now in a happy place. I used to cry myself to sleep as I feared I’d die any moment. What if I don’t make it? What would happen then?

After treatment, I sought financial help to buy a small pan shop ‘coz I needed to do something. Every morning as I open my shop, I feel immense joy in knowing that this is my own. People may just see it as a small shop, but it gives me immense satisfaction to know that I did something. Never take small things for granted, because there are worse things in life to worry about.”

Humans of Thimphu with Bhutan Cancer Society celebrate the resilience of survivors.
#humansstory #survivormonth #cancerawareness

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