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Year 2010

Coping With Cancer

Sakaal Times
14 October 2011

As the incidence of breast cancer keeps growing, women need to be more aware of the changes they need to make in their diet, routine, lifestyle etc to help deal with the problem

Namarata Reddy was taking care of her mom who was a third-stage cancer patient. Miraculously, her mom came out of the disease but as soon as she recovered, Namarata was diagnosed with breast cancer.

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“I still remember the day when I had to go to Jehangir Hospital to collect my mammogram report. When I discovered that the results were positive, I almost went numb. I was all alone and the initial shock was too much to deal with,” recalls Namarata.

Like all other moms, the first thought that crossed Namarata’s mind was: Who’d take care of her son if she had to die?
Namarata’s husband was in the UK then, so she went to the gynaecologist, who’d suggested the mammogram, and discussed the surgery and other procedures.

She did not know how to break the news to her family. “Luckily, my elder sister, who lives in Mumbai, called and I broke down. She called a close friend of mine to take care of me. And once I reached home I started screaming and yelling, but my mom and my 14 year-old son were very patient. Finally, my friend told my son about my newly-discovered illness. He consoled me while taking care that my mother did not get to know about my ailment,” she adds.

It’s very important to get family support when you have to deal with cancer and Namarata was lucky to have very loving and caring people around her. Her husband flew down from London and both her sisters came down to Pune to support her in her hour of crisis. Her mother-in-law, cousins, uncles, aunts, friends and acquaintances also extended their support. “A few of them also commented: ‘Kya paap kiya jo aisa hua’. My response was: ‘Paap to sabhi (knowing / unknowingly) karte hai, but it’s got to do more with my weak body and weak resistance,” she says.

Her oncosurgeon and oncophysician Dr Koppikar and Dr Shona Naag made Namarata’s recovery process less traumatic. “They always assured me that breast cancer was a common illness and 100 per cent prognosis could be achieved. Luckily, it was my first stage and lumpectomy was done. I was given radiation and administered anticancer drugs for five years,” she informs.

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