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Post-battle, joy of living doubles
Survivors beat cancer with grit

Yuvraj Singh and Manisha Koirala defeated it, so did Anwarul, Shanti and Shubham.

Who are the other three one may ask. Well, they are cancer survivors from the state who have kicked the disease with unflinching family support and timely treatment.

Anwarul Hasan, a 61-year-old resident of Madhepura, was diagnosed with salivary gland cancer eight years ago. Initially, he hid his condition from the family and would secretly go off to Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital for treatment. After four years, the family came to know his condition. Today, Hasan admits if he is okay, it’s because of the strength of his family.

“At first, I did not reveal my condition to my family as I was scared how they would take it. They did not know for four years and I would go to Delhi regularly for my check-ups and treatment secretly. During one of those visits, my son-in-law, also a doctor, learnt of my condition and immediately told my family members,” said Hasan, who owns a restaurant in Madhepura.

Coupled with the doctors’ encouragement and the family’s love, he defeated cancer.

Hasan told The Telegraph: “I defeated the disease thanks to the dedicated team of doctors at Safdarjung Hospital. They instilled confidence in me and encouraged me, saying I had a long life.

“I still remember my nephew telling me about cancer patients at the Singapore hospital he worked at. He told me if they could lead a normal life, what was stopping me. I loved what he said and since then, I became more positive. I started taking care of my diet and medicine seriously. During chemotherapy, when I started losing hair and looked bad, my family stood by me. I am okay today only because of them,” he added.

Family can do a lot which medicine can fall short of. Yuvraj would know.

Shabnam Singh, the cricketer’s mother, stood by Yuvraj throughout the time he was being treated for the cancerous tumour in his left lung in the US. After months of tension and anxiety, Yuvi threw out the cancer like the way he would lob a ball on a cricket ground. Now, he is fighting fit and playing well.

Actress Manisha Koirala, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer a few years ago, is also leading a normal life now.

Bharat Singh, the senior superintendent of Patna airport, knows a little about surviving cancer. He still remembers the day he took his mother Shanti Devi, diagnosed with lung cancer, in a wheelchair to Apollo Hospital in Delhi in 2012.

“My mother had to undergo around four sessions of radiotherapy initially, followed by five to six sessions of chemotherapy. Her diagnosis came when she was at an advanced age. Going through all the procedures was not easy on her or me. Seeing her writhing in pain made me uncomfortable but throughout the process I didn’t let the pain show on my face. I used to tell my mother that cancer was curable at any stage. I knew it wasn’t true, but still I would tell her that. Thankfully, the cancer was diagnosed at an initial stage and today she is fine at 75,” said Singh.

“What I have learnt from her experience is that a person suffering from a deadly disease needs to remain positive and follow the doctor’s advice. The results can be surprising.”

If Hasan and Shanti Devi fought the disease late in life, young Shubham went through it very early.

What made it difficult for Shubham was his father did not have a job at the time of diagnosis two years ago. Now, 12-year-old, he is hale and hearty.

“I had no job when Shubham was diagnosed with lymphoma. We cut down on our expenses so that we could provide Shubham proper treatment. Somehow, I got to know about the trust of a Patna-based hospital that provides funds to cancer patients for treatment. Luckily, we got the funds, in addition to the state government’s grants for cancer patients,” said Anup Kumar, Shubham’s father who is now a Grade-IV employee with the railways.

Manisha Singh, an oncologist at Mahavir Cancer Sansthan, said: “Cancer is curable. It only needs to be diagnosed at an early stage and the patient has to be given proper treatment. I have seen hundreds of cases where cancer patients have survived. It is myth that cancer is a deadly disease.”


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