Health & fitness My Life Self enrichment

Life after cancer

Love my pets, but I’ve got to be careful about germs etc. They give so much comfort that you cannot live without them.

When you get cancer and treatment process begins, you really wonder if you will get out of it alive. Whether you say it or not, it is on yours and your family’s mind. So finally, to be free of cancer, is nothing short of a miracle. I can’t help looking at those test reports again and again, saying, ‘no malignancy found’.

Alhamdolillah! (Thank God!)

So, what now?


In my case, while I was thinking I’m experiencing side effects of radiation, with a sore throat and cough, a cold, accompanied by body aches and fatigue. It turned out to be Omicron! I mean, that is all I needed in my life. But luckily enough it only lasts five to seven days. I’m experiencing a lot more fatigue and exhaustion now. My confidence has gone for a six. Feel like resting all the time. I mean, to go through so many treatment processes of cancer, then to successfully get out of it, and now this!

It seems the tests of life, are quite endless. But thank God, before I knew it, it was over. 🙂

Feeling so grateful…. the wig will continue, (in fact I love it so much that I plan to keep wearing it.)

Being grateful:

One’s world had gone all topsy turvy during the illness, now one has to get back to the new ‘normal’.

Yet, I cannot help being so very grateful for the blessing of being out of it all. It has been eight months now. I’ve not been having a ‘normal’ life at all. This is why it is so important to be grateful for being here, without twelve kilograms of weight. Yes, I lost that amount of weight. This has been a bonus. Now the challenge is, to keep these off!

Hey, it’s a new me and a new life:

Here I am with my cancer-survivor friend yesterday. She came back from stage four within a year. I got mine, after she had recovered. Now we are both free to enjoy our lives. Alhamdolillah!

Naturally, I’ve been reading books on life after cancer. It is said unanimously, that only those ones who make lifestyle changes survive. You’ve got to make big changes in the life that you have lived until now. It was already my intention to make changes within myself. After all, I haven’t been through so much, only to be the same person I was, again. A new normal has got to be emerging out of all that I’ve been through. I’m sure this was the reason why I went through it in the first place.

Do look out in your life too, if whatever you are going through isn’t there for a reason? Now, it is up to us to find out the reason. Make some changes in ourselves.  

New life:

Finally, I’ve started attending weddings. Here I am with my friend Shagufta who was also my student in Painting classes and has participated in many philanthropic causes with me. It was her son’s Waleema ceremony on 27th March. (I was invited to two more weddings, but I cannot be in three places even if I am a cancer survivor!) One now needs to make choices which are best for your present condition.

Finally, I’m ready to listen to my daughters who keep telling me to ‘slow down your life.’ They find my lifestyle too much. Yes, multitasking has been my forte and my pride. I suppose it was also the need of the times that I was going through, previously. Also, I was able to take it all. However, it was naturally causing stress and pressure on myself. (After all, there is bound to have been a reason for what happened!) Too much of it, for too long is bound to have some side effects.

Changes in life:

Making those weekly plans here, more carefully and then sticking to them, and not adding the unexpected things into it too. Always to replace one thing with another, rather than squeezing in ten more things! (Previously, I would take pride in being able to manage so many things at once. Now, I know better.)

Now, I should just focus on one thing at a time, while putting everything else on hold. Only then, will I have the focus which I’ve lacked in my life previously. I got too thinly spread out.

Most of the time, there was a constant adrenaline rush, which I seemed to enjoy, but it is time to keep that in control. So I thought about it, and plan to do this:

Saying ‘no’ more often.

Do not entertain unexpected plans. Don’t do anything that will become stressful. Specially, avoid making plans at expense of your own sleep and routine.

Stop multitasking.

As mentioned earlier, I’ve got to stick to doing one thing first, then complete it and get on to the next. Is it so difficult? Well, I’ll tell you when I find out. In fact I’ve started doing this already. Can’t tell you how peaceful it is. There is a ‘flow’ to your work. It gets done better, and gets completed earlier.

One project at a time:

Focusing on completing one project at a time would be best. These days I’ve got a painting to complete which is commissioned work. Once that is finished, I can get to my book project. Problem is that no matter what you do, there are bound to be simultaneous projects in different categories going on. Life is complicated. Okay then, do one project in each category at a time. (There we go again!)

Improved diet.

A diet which is made up of organic foods. Have more fruits, veggies and legumes. Taking yogurt and desi eggs while avoiding other dairy products. We cook food now in vegetable ghee, desi ghee or butter. Having more of fresh pure juices. Best is to have the ABC drink (apple, beetroot and carrot juice.) Have a good supply of fresh turmeric, ginger, and herbs, having these in green tea or with hot drink at night.  

Pamper yourself:

Remember, there will be times when you aren’t feeling good. There is so much exhaustion, and fatigue which seems to be unexplained. Just listen to your body and let it relax. It has taken so much medication in last few months, that it is natural for it to get exhausted now. In spite of all the chemo medications, you are now fully recovered, yet the effects can affect you now too. Be very gentle with yourself.

Avoid thinking about anything that upsets you. That is extremely important. Avoid watching the news, or listening to the jargon of others who are deep into stuff that isn’t within their circle of concern. Only consider stuff within your circle of influence.

Sleep time.

It is said that sleeping between 10.00 pm to 6.00 pm is the best thing to do. It is a full eight hours’ sleep and the hours are the best for one’s body. I have many friends, who are doing it. I’ve never been one of them. Always a late-night person.

So, one needs to do what is best for one’s body and mind.


Most of my life, I’ve been extremely particular about holidays. Not to take along any work into one’s weekends or holidays. Enjoy the holidays fully and in a carefree manner. Weekends are like mini-holidays, these need to be treated with respect too.

So, enjoy weekends, and have quarterly and once a year holiday. It is vital.

Work hours.

Now-a-days, due to most folks working from home, it becomes difficult to make boundaries of ‘work hours.’ This is why it is more important to not do any ‘work’, after 5.00 pm. So, one just works 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. Then make sure not to entertain any work-related issues after that. Keep family time as family time. (Easier said, than done!)

Social life.

At the President’s House on March 14th 2022, Riffat took as her guest and it was a grand function. It was the launching of the book about ‘101 women CEOs of Pakistan.’
Riffat and Ayesha stayed at my place for the event above. Ayesha was the first woman Captain in PIA for around 27 years.

Be with those who energize you. Now, due to my health issues, I’ve got to learn to keep an eye on my time, and not to overstay. It is vital to get home on time to be able to relax, and have a ‘me-time’ before going to sleep with a calm mind.

Post treatment therapies:

Which ever cancer it is, usually after the completion of your treatment, you will face some more! It is important to keep this deadly disease at bay. Some have to take certain pills for five to eight years, daily. In my case, it is an infusion or Dual Targeted Therapy, every three weeks.

I know it becomes hard to do these, but one must be very conscientious about the tests and therapies. We cannot afford to lose this battle now. As my Dad said, when the battle is rough, and both sides are locked in a situation, the side which holds on the longest, is the side that wins. Let us be the side that holds on right till the end. Let’s do our best to continue winning this battle. (Yes, it is still on.)

Be as close to nature, as possible. Take very special care of yourself. You have been through a rough patch in your life. You deserve to celebrate and also not to let things get out of hand.

We are blessed, so we must stay blessed, by minding our own welfare now. 🙂

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