I am interested in the way we think, behave, and how our thoughts affect us as human begins.
It seems to me that this could be the best thing that I really want to represent. So, that’s why I like writing, and sketching as it is the best way for me to discharge all the negative thoughts and emotions. But, this time I am sharing a small summary of my life’s most beautiful story, a story of the most positive side of my life.
The story of suffering which lasted for two years.
My 18-year-old best friend was diagnosed with cancer after being infected with fever and noticing that there was a tumour in her neck. I will be telling you her story as I was with her till the end of her suffering.
This is not an affliction of God, because I am sick. This is a message of love from God. If I look at the disease as a negative, this will not be worthwhile for me. But I can turn this negative message into a positive one. Only a message of love, God wants to test the extent of my patience and the extent of his faith in my soul.
I still remember each word she said. She asked me to write down her suffering and struggle until she ended it with a happy ending.
She wanted to fight the negative look that everyone gives a cancer patient. Whenever she looks to others, she could see from their faces that they pitied her. As she is going to die tomorrow.
She was afraid that she would not be able to complete her studies because of her treatment. But she insisted and decided that the disease will not destabilize her dream of entering the specialization that she wanted and achieve her ambition.
She fought everything and entered the major she wanted. After all this, she wanted to change the whole society’s view of this disease when she saw the negative societal view of the disease. Their view is wrong and very negative and sends negative messages to cancer patients which affect their psychology.
She started by change the view of her friends, family, then the patients in the hospital itself.
And nearly after year and a half she will graduate.
But she did not change at all in the period of her treatment was the good and the grain. She was still that smiley person all that was changed that fatigue was evident on her face.
The experience of cancer made her feel like a doctor she read many books and so on.
The doctor first told her family.
In the beginning, they thought that it was a normal tumour later when the doctor examined what type of tumour it was cancer. She was not aware of the matter yet and did not know about the stage of the tumour as it was spread from her neck to the diaphragm.
Her mother was the one who received the news first, the doctor asked my friend to get out of the room.
Her mother said:
I was gripped by fear when the doctor told me that my daughter had cancer, my sweetheart had cancer.
Then she went back to the house and she was not aware of what the doctor told her mother, she said to me:
It was the longest day in her life her mother wanted to tell her about the tumour and that she might need chemotherapy to get well.
Then her mother informed me and her brother, their view to the disease was the view of that our sweetheart would die and we would lose her. This view is still people’s faces and this view I fight.
We all knew that she loved to know everything in detail. So, we talked to the doctor and he said that he will inform her in the next appointment. He said to her “you have a tumour and your recovery percentage is high it from 80% to 90%”.
She has not reacted, she listened to the doctor and she behaved as she did not have any feelings regarding herself. Then she asked “what kind of tumour is it, benign or malignant? “
He said: “malignant”!
The doctor looked at her and smiled and he said “often the patients never ask about this. As most of the cancer patients are afraid”.
The doctor sat with her and taught her about the stages of the disease. Each cancer passes through four stages, and in which stage is she.
She literally asked about everything; what will happen after the chemotherapy, what will be the side effects of it, what will she do if she fails to function.
Being aware of what will happen made her stronger. The doctor told her that she may start her chemotherapy session from next week, but she said why not from tomorrow?!
So, she started on the second day.
She was and still is conservative about her illness nobody knows about her, and she ended her treatment without telling anyone.
She kept the secret of suffering from cancer between me and her family.
And that was because she does not want anyone to be sad for her. When she saw me crying for her, she said:
you need to support me, it is just cancer it is like a fever but for a longer time, it needs some more treatment and I will be fine. But all I need is you and your love and support.
The society’s negative thoughts, as they think that cancer patient is considered unable to give, unable to produce, unable to work, and if they are unmarried, they become unable to create a family.
I still can remember her first chemotherapy sessions she entered the chemist’s room, here the psychological breakdown began, and she started to cry for the first time. All the patients in that room were exhausted. She asked me if I would become like them. I said no you are stronger than them, and you know I never lie to you. Due to the session, she was forced to be absent, she used to just come for the tests. As after every 15 days she had a session and overall, she had 6 sessions. The first three days she used to be sleepy and tired, and then literally every part of her body started hurting. She finished the year and she had no hair and she used to cover her. We were afraid of her reaction when she would be without hair, but she thought it ironic that she was without hair.
I do not know how this positive energy reached her but perhaps because of her love for herself, for us and her desire to stay with us is what she fought for.
Many tests were inconsistent with her time and some made her tired and exhausted. But she organized her lectures not to interfere with the date of her sessions and hospital tests.
Finally, she did it, she is our fighter. The doctor told her to write her story, he told her everyone needs to know about your fight, change people thoughts about cancer. Tell them your definition of cancer, tell them that because of it you found the better version of you as your friend told you.
So, this me her friend, and this her story. I tried my best to give a brief summary as she wants to keep her story personal.
Sama Al-Maqbali is a 2nd year Law (LLB) student at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), and a certified psychological first aider by Johns Hopkins University.