The itch was real. It was neither my imagination nor did I scratch out of habit as many suggested. The lump I found above my collar bone too, was real. I got it tested. The results came out as a shock to my family but as a relief to me, as I knew my troubled itching is almost over.
I was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin Lymphoma, a kind of lymphoma in which cancer originates from a particular type of white blood cells called lymphocytes. The itching I experienced was one of the symptoms of lymphoma. Itching in lymphoma is believed to be due to chemicals released by one’s immune system, as part of its reaction against the lymphoma cells.
My oncologist prescribed me 12 chemos which I had to undergo in a span of 6 months. There started my encounter with chemotherapy. I cut my hair very short before my first chemo as my doctor told me my hair will fall off as a side effect of the chemo medicines. Little did I know that was the least of the side effects I was about to face. The first chemo was completed with ease and I was fascinated by the different colors of medicines, the way it came covered in aluminium foil as it was photosensitive. I was laughing and smiling throughout and my dear sister-in-law who was my by-stander inside the chemo room laughed along. Well, I had no clue of what was awaiting me for the next 6 months.
Two days after the first chemo the side effects started to pop up. My hair started to fall off and I decided to shave my head completely as it was irritating to have hair lying around like that. I started having Migraine, nausea, tastelessness, weight gain, and the worst body pain one can come across and these kept repeating after each chemo. This killed my spirits most of the days for the next 6 months. During the days I felt better I didn’t stop myself from flaunting my bald head, draping saris, putting on makeup, and posing for the camera. Learning to tie a turban in different styles became my most loved time pass.
I had my family and friends and a great doctor around me as I endured the toughest period of my life. They didn’t care if I was bald or weighed on the higher side. All they wanted was my recovery. And that was the biggest impetus for me to spring back to life. Today I am cured of cancer and I am living a normal life like everyone else fearing only corona, shigella, bird flu, and dengue. Well, the new normal sounds scarier than cancer!!!! But trust me. Everything is going to be fine soon. After all, all of us are fighters!!
Read more: The story of an ‘itch’!!!!!!Part 1 https://www.eastcoastdaily.in/2021/01/14/the-story-of-an-itch-part-1.html.