Suman Singh is an entrepreneur who also manages cancer survivor communities on behalf of Onco.com. In this article, she shares how life has been since her breast cancer treatment.
I have always been an independent and ambitious person. From an early age, I had to learn to manage my own life and emotions as I did not have the kind of support system that I could rely on.
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2020. I was frequently relocating at that time; twice within short durations. That was one reason my diagnosis was delayed, the other was the lockdown during the pandemic.
The diagnosis shook my world. I felt numb. I did not know what was in store for me. I had a young daughter and I really wanted to be there for her. That was my biggest concern.
The lockdown also affected me financially as my successful business came to a stand still, and my husband’s job was also affected. I belong to an affluent family but the biggest blow came from my brothers who backed away just two days before my surgery.
I cried out to God for help, “I have followed you for twenty years, do not let your daughter be ashamed. You have said you will give before I ask, and you will listen before I say.” But I was consoled as help came to me from unexpected sources.
With the help of my church members, facebook women group community, my husband, my friends and well-wishers, I managed to complete my cancer treatment. It was not easy at all. I went for my hospital visits alone, and checked myself in for my surgeries. My husband had to stay home with our young daughter.
I believe it was the grace of God that I could have the courage and strength required to go through the surgery, the 8 chemotherapy sessions and the 31 radiation sessions. I was very focused on the treatment as I wanted to come back healthy enough to be able to take care of my family.
During this phase, I learnt who my real friends & relatives were. Many who were close to me disappeared for reasons best known to them. It was a wake up call for me.
I happened to come across Onco.com on Google. I contacted them to get some advice on the best oncologist for me. They assigned a Care Manager to me who helped me through every decision in my cancer journey. More than anything else, it gave me confidence that I am not missing out on anything that I should be doing. All aspects of my treatment became more clear to me.
Once my treatment was over, I felt a sort of void in my life. What next? I wanted to get back to work, but I found that many employers still have this feeling that cancer survivors are not capable of doing as much work as others.
At this time, the pandemic had entered our lives and everything was coming to a stand still. I knew that cancer had left my body weak and susceptible to more infections. I had to take many precautions to keep myself safe.
During a conversation with my Care Manager, I mentioned that I would love to work for Onco.com. I felt like working in the cancer space was perfect for me because I knew exactly what it was like to go through this disease.
Very soon, I became associated with Onco.com. Since then I have had the opportunity to interact with hundreds of cancer patients, caregivers and survivors through their platform. Some have even become my good friends. I am so glad to be doing this every single day, and giving back to my own community.
If you are going through your own cancer journey, I want to tell you that all the confusion and pain you are going through is going to be worth it. There is a beautiful life waiting for you and you are going to achieve many great things in the future. You have to fight the cancer in your mind first, so that your body can fight it. For many of us, giving up is simply not an option. We are fighters and we will find a way out of the problem.
The fear of a relapse continues within me, and I am still dealing with side effects of the treatment. Every day is a challenge but I am happy to have found my calling in helping my community of cancer survivors. Now, when people tell me that my story motivates them, and that they feel encouraged after speaking with me, I feel my life has purpose.