“If I die, make sure you tell people that cancer did not kill me - I killed the cancer.”

in photography •  last year

"I was only 3 years old when my dad had a heart attack and he underwent an open heart surgery. Around then my family was experiencing money related issues due to absence of water for our agricultural lands. My mom sold her jewellery to pay for the operation and Alhamdulillah the surgery was successful. Eight years passed normally until the day my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I still remember that she used to drive her car independently to go for rounds of chemotherapy and radiations. Even though she was a cancer patient who was advised bed rest she never acted like someone suffering from such a serious condition. In fact, she used to take other patients from underprivileged backgrounds to the hospital and even cook for them. After around 25 rounds of radiations and chemotherapies she beat cancer! I watched her through this journey and she was extraordinary!
But still, bad things never warn you before arriving at your doorstep.
In 2012, my dad had a second heart attack and he experienced second open heart surgery. By the grace of Allah he recovered once again. But the following year, my mother was not as lucky.
This time it was uterine cancer.
By now I was old enough to understand what was going on. I saw my mom in great agony. I saw her go through 25 chemotherapies. I watched her keep other patients motivated. “Trust in Allah!” “This disease is nothing” “You can fight this!” “Don’t give up!” she used to tell them. When I think about where she got her strength I wonder if it was because my mom never saw her dad as he died when my grandmother was pregnant. She had an extremely troublesome and testing adolescence. Perhaps that was the reason she was rock solid; perhaps she believed that after each terrible testing time, things get better. Bit by bit, she was getting sick yet never lost her faith. When I think back, I admire her so much because even though she was in this awful health situation, she didn’t stop living her life to the fullest; she went on trips up north and picnics while fighting for her life.
September 11th was the day it happened. I held her hand for so long - realising our roles had reversed and I was the caretaker now. At 4:00am, when she reacted to a blood transfusion and all the madness began, I realised no matter who you are, whether an extremely rich person or a poor one there is nothing you can do. I was shuddering, crying and appealing to God to save her. A few hours later I was told by the doctors there was nothing more they could do for her. I went close to her and whispered in her ear,
"I know I never ended up being a good child, I was naughty, I yelled frequently and I irritated you. Please forgive me.”
She looked into my eyes but said nothing. All I saw were tears. A few hours later she left us.
Few days before she passed away, my mother had said to my sister, “If I die, make sure you tell people that cancer did not kill me - I killed the cancer.”
What I have learnt from losing my mother is that life tests you time and time again- be strong enough to face the challenges instead of giving up. Thanks to her, I truly believe that If Allah is placing you in troublesome circumstances, He will also show you a way to handle it like He gave her extraordinary strength and motivation."

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I believe she was the best thing happened to you. It's the tough circumstances that make us even stronger. She left you with all the strength you need to move forward in your life and be good. God bless you mate.