My Battle with Cancer Time and Time Again
I still remember that dark day clearly, the day I came back from the doctor’s office burdened by the fact that I’ve got ovarian cancer. I was married back then, but my battle was too much of a burden on our marriage it became clear that we are not meant to be anymore. They say when it rains it pours, I had to let go of my work at the time as it required lots of travel something that my therapy prevented me from doing. You might think that such devastating circumstances would make me give up, and sit in the darkness alone being angry at my fate, however it never crossed my mind that I would not come out if it better and stronger, I took it as a chance to start over and have a fresh beginning, a path that I trusted God is guiding me through.
I changed my career completely to something that complies with my health state, and was rid of a dead end marriage. I fell in love with my new career and became successful in it, I developed lots of new skills and experiences that helped prepare me to what was coming next.
My mom was my biggest supporter and back bone; I gained lots of my strength from her, not only during the tough times of my therapy but even today. Her optimism, serenity and passion for life outshines any darkness, just looking into her eyes I see hope for a new day, she always told me “if the sun comes out, smile and live your day to the fullest.”
To my horror and after rebuilding my life the cancer returned once again, fiercer and more adamant. Ironically and as fate would have it, the company I was working for many years was going through a financial crisis, I knew the time was nearing and I would be made redundant. I decided right then and there that I would take this as another challenge, one that I would overcome with patience and determination, and I began planning ahead for a brighter future that I always dreamt of.
I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur especially gaining so much experience and valuable skills, so I seized the opportunity the very same day I was let go of my work I went and registered my own business. I didn’t waste time, or let my illness defeat me, for I was still alive…I had to go on living, I was determined to turn this obstacle into an opportunity, a ray of hope something worth living for. My new company gave me the will and drive to battle with cancer one more time. With this new focus and passion life finally rewarded me; I met the man of my dreams, a man who fell in love with me…all of me… the way I am. I remarried my soul mate and partner in life a man who stands by me with love and respect. With him in my life I am happier and stronger.
And once again I won the battle with my illness…I am cancer free.
When I look back at all the days I struggled and battled with the illness, I don’t feel regrets or pain, as I believe everything happens for a reason, if it wasn’t for everything I’ve endured I wouldn’t have been the woman I am today. I learned, I grew, I matured, I became more aware about life and its meaning, I started to look at life from another perspective, a deeper one, a more profound one, and my goals now in life are more meaningful.
I remember one time during my therapy I was in need of blood, as soon as the hospital announced the need, donors flooded in, people I don’t know and never met and never will. I learned that with giving you will get, generosity is a circle that life will return to you somehow some way. So I decided it was time for me to give back, so I decided to set aside from my monthly income to support an orphanage in India and children in need.
I think back on how I defeated cancer, it was a mindset, an attitude, will power and the way I was raised. My parents taught me not to wait around for someone to make my dreams come true, not to be dependent on anyone, that I am the only one responsible for my life and in turning my aspirations into realities. If it wasn’t for them I can’t imagine what my life would have been like. But what about all those girls that don’t have that kind of parental guidance and wisdom, surly I need to do my part however I can and help make a difference in their lives and continue spinning round the circle of giving. This is why I took it upon myself to sponsor educating young Indian girls from my homeland, and women empowerment has become one of the goals I work towards achieving even in my own business where till this day my team consists of only women.
Another significant future goal of mine is to help raise awareness on ovarian cancer, and encourage women to be tested for early detection as mostly the focus is on breast cancer and ovarian cancer is as dangerous if not more so.
Finally I would like to finish off my story by being thankful for this gracious country the United Arab Emirates, it has given me a lot, my journey began here, and many of my dreams turned to reality here, on this amiable land I want to stay and it is my turn to give back to it.
And to all of those out there battling with this malicious illness I say to you, don’t think of your tomorrow, live it a day at a time, the sun will rise and all worries will fade, nothing lasts forever. Surround yourself with positivity and happiness, live through the experience and learn from it and move on, come out of it a changed person, a more passionate, humble, tolerant and most of all appreciative person. Make your difference.
The true story of Ms. Warsha Joshi
Written by Amal Al Harithi (Arabic article)
By Mira Khatib (English article)