Meet our Cancer Patients: Aneesa
Meet Aneesa, a budding seamstress from Gujranwala. In 2019, just weeks after her father died, she was diagnosed with lymphoma. For her grieving family, the news was a hard blow.
Aneesa’s father’s death had been sudden and unexpected –a cardiac arrest. Overnight, her mother became the sole provider of the household. But the salary of a midwife’s assistant barely sufficed to support the family’s most basic needs. Aneesa saw how helpless and desperate her mother was. On the one hand she had three orphaned children to care for, including her youngest, a son, who was still in school. And on the other hand there were the costly hospital fees that treating cancer would incur. 20 year-old Aneesa decided that day that she had to be courageous and strong for her mother and family, even though she was the one facing cancer.
Fortunately for Aneesa, the total cost of her cancer treatment was sponsored by a generous donor, not long after she came to Shaukat Khanum Hospital. From March until August that year, she received eight cycles of chemotherapy followed by fifteen radiotherapy sessions. “I lost my hair. My appetite was gone, and my body was devoid of any strength,” Aneesa recalls about the difficult time. “But I had decided never to appear weak in front of my grieving family; I always wanted to be their strength.”
In September 2019, Aneesa’s scans revealed that she no longer had lymphoma. With the will of Allah (SWT) she had beat cancer. Aneesa is now on follow-up care, which requires her to undergo quarterly check-ups and scans. Meanwhile, she’s resumed tailoring and is even able to support her mother and younger brother with hear earnings. “Cancer put a pause on my life for half a year, but it has made me stronger and more resilient,” she says. “I’m proud to tell people I survived cancer, so they will know it is curable, and that there is always hope.”
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