Breast Cancer Hero: Meenal Makhija
Meenal is living a normal life today
Vacations are the best way to bond with family and friends, and I was on one when I discovered that I was suffering from breast cancer. Holidaying in Sikkim, I was out shopping when I fell and hurt myself. The doctor there told me that I had fractured the little finger of my right hand and it needed to be plastered. Returning home, I noticed that the shape of my right breast looked different but I just let it go, thinking it was a result of the fall. If only I knew...
Back home in Bombay I consulted my family doctor and asked him about a mammogram. Avoiding his curious questions, I went for one myself. I had a lump in my right breast, which never pained or caused any harm, from the time my daughter was born. I thought it was a result of breastfeeding and didn’t pay any attention to it. But it had grown into a cancerous tissue and was detected after a mammogram was performed. My first mammogram didn’t come out too clear and therefore I had to go for another one. The doctor then asked me to go for an ultrasound and a biopsy just to make sure that it was really cancer.
My husband who was not in town at that time was summoned by the doctor and asked to break the news to me. I was shocked to discover that it had actually happened to me, but decided to take it head on. It was in February 2001 that I discovered that I had malignant breast cancer and underwent surgery for the same.
My family and friends have been a constant support and are the reason that I am back to leading a normal life today. During my chemotherapy days, my husband was constantly at my side, holding my hand during the bad parts, making it easier. I used to work with the Reserve Bank of India and had to take a leave of absence to recuperate.
My children also noticed that everything was not right with me and were my constant support during my battle against the disease.
Today I am disease-free and live a normal and happy life. I go for checkups once a year and have to undergo a mammogram, ultrasound, bone density scan and bone scan at times. I go out with friends, attend social gatherings. After taking voluntary retirement from my work, I am living a great life.
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